ASTANA – Kazakhstan is interested in strengthening cooperation with the Council of Europe, said Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko during his visit to the headquarters of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on Jan. 25, the Foreign Ministry’s press service reported.
Vassilenko also took part in the meeting of the PACE Group of European Conservatives and Democratic Alliance. He spoke about the results of the presidential election, the reforms, and the early elections of deputies of the Mazhilis (the lower chamber of the Kazakh Parliament) and the maslikhats (local administrative bodies) scheduled for March 19.
PACE President Tiny Kox, Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić, and her deputy Bjørn Berge took note of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s reforms, and expressed readiness to expand cooperation.
PACE vice-presidents, heads of their national delegations, deputies Bertrand Bouyx (France), Ahmet Yildiz (Türkiye), and Emanuelis Zingeris (Lithuania) supported Kazakhstan’s democratic course, including the constitutional changes, the abolition of the death penalty, the expansion of women’s membership in Parliament, and the strengthening of the Human Rights Commissioner’s institute.
Vassilenko met with the newly elected rapporteur on Kazakhstan, the leader of the Group of the European People’s Party in PACE, Polish Senator Aleksander Pociej. He plans to visit Astana later this year to develop proposals for bringing cooperation between PACE and Kazakhstan to a new level.