External News in Brief

Lev Gumilev Eurasian National University (ENU) will set up shop in Brussels. A delegation including senior university officials arrived in Brussels to sign the relevant agreement with the Modern Education & Research Institute (MERI) that will host the office. ENU’s representative office is meant to help modernise and internationalise Kazakhstan’s education system and create a group of international experts to increase efficiency of university management and search for partners to join European Union science financing consortiums. ENU First Vice Dean Asemgul Moldazhanova called the move a strategic step to integrate Kazakhstan into the international scientific and education community and boost cooperation between the European Union and Kazakhstan. Significant efforts preceded the opening of the representative office, including strengthening the university’s position in Central Asia.

One hundred and twenty Kazakh peacekeepers in Lebanon recently received United Nations Peace Medals. The award ceremony was hosted by the UN post in Lebanon and gathered more than 600 people. Attendees were welcomed by UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) Sector East Commander Brigadier General Antonio Romero Losada, who thanked the peacekeepers for their contribution to the peacekeeping mission and their conscientious service. The first troop of Kazakh peacekeepers in Lebanon will complete their mission at the end of April and will be replaced by the second troop, which is currently undergoing intensive training.

Kazakhstan and Spain agreed to launch direct flight between their capital cities during the recent meeting of Kazakh and Spanish government representatives in Madrid. The sides discussed politics, trade and economy, culture and expanding legal agreements and noted the significant progress in bilateral relations reaffirmed by regular high level visits and growing trade turnover. The two countries mark 10 years of strategic partnership this year. Spain is among Kazakhstan’s largest trade partners, with trade steadily increasing and reaching $2 billion. Spanish investments in Kazakhstan have reached $205.4 million since 2005.

Kazakh businesses will invest $10 million in Georgia to build an electric bus assembly plant, reported Georgian Parliament Deputy David Chichinadze. “It is useful to do something. When good people join efforts, it is even better, because Georgia has developed very positive relations with Kazakhstan. Its money was invested in the country in significant amounts in different sectors,” said Chichinadze, as quoted by Sputnik Georgia. The deal also includes purchasing at least 100 electric buses from Kazakhstan every year.

The Council of Europe will open a regional office in Kazakhstan to help reinforce bilateral cooperation. A Kazakh delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko participated in the meeting of the Rapporteur Group of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on external relations, where it reaffirmed the country’s interest in boosting cooperation with the institution to ensure the rule of law, modernise the country’s justice system and accede to international conventions. The meeting precedes the launch of the second phase of the organisation’s Neighbourhood Co-operation Priorities for Kazakhstan programme for 2019 to 2022 as part of the Central Asia-wide Rule of Law regional project.