In Tehran, the inauguration ceremony of the newly elected President of Iran Hassan Rouhani was hosted on the 5th August 2017. Kazakhstan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Kairat Abdrakhmanov was in attendance, representing the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

A day before the ceremony, Mr. Abdrakhmanov had a meeting with the newly elected President of Iran, stating that “today is a big day not only for Iran, but also for the many friends of your country.”

“It is a great honor for me to congratulate you on behalf of the president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. Over recent years, you and the leader of Kazakhstan have both lifted our bilateral relations to the level of significant strategic cooperation,” he said.

According to Minister of Foreign Affairs Kairat Abdrakhmanov, the diplomats of both countries should work hard to ensure the comprehensive implementation of the agreements reached during the visits of Nursultan Nazarbayev to Tehran and Hassan Rouhani to Astana, both in 2016. Mr. Abdrakhmanov also noted the great importance of ensuring that the implementation of particular projects in the fields of transit and transport, tourism, agriculture, and the mining industry, is all conducted to a high standard.

The Kazakh Minister also informed the Iranian President about preparations for the first Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Science and Technology, which is scheduled to take place on 10th – 11th September in Astana, and extended an invitation of the President of Kazakhstan to participate in this event, which is of great importance for the whole Islamic World.

In his turn, the President of Iran noted the increased cooperation of both countries with great satisfaction.

“President Nazarbayev and I are on friendly footing, and we enjoy mutual understanding. The leader of Kazakhstan is a very respectable person globally, and contributes a lot to the region as a whole,” the Iranian President mentioned.

President Rouhani welcomed the OIC Summit on Science and Technologies in Astana, and assured us of Iran’s commitment to participate in this important event. Moreover, he believes in the necessity to cooperate in countering terrorism, in order to prevent the spread of terrorism as a result of their losses in Iraq and Syria.

The President emphasized the readiness of Iran to closely cooperate with Kazakhstan on all joint economic projects, including SWAP operations on oil; the development of Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railroad; the establishment of marine cargo and passenger transportation on the Caspian Sea; and in terms of agriculture. The Caspian littoral countries fruitful in their cooperation, particularly in the fields of trade, shipping industry and environment. The only thing to settle is a legal status of the sea, said Mr. Rouhani.

More detailed aspects of Kazakh-Iranian cooperation were discussed during discussions between Mr. Abdrakhmanov and his counterpart, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Currently there are 21 joint investment projects, which amount to several hundred million dollars. The opening of the Consulate of Kazakhstan in the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas, on the shores of the Persian Gulf, will facilitate the building up of cooperation in the field of transport and logistics, as has already been agreed by the two countries.

Mr. Zarif stressed that Kazakhstan is an exceptionally important friend and neighbor for Iran. Mutual visits at the presidential level last year significantly advanced bilateral relations. Iran has a deep respect for President Nazarbayev, for his role in regional and international affairs. Kazakhstan, according to Mr. Zarif, played an important role in the achievement and implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear program, and Iran hopes that Kazakhstan will continue its active involvement in this issue. The Iranian Minister touched upon the issues of providing a simplified visa regime for entrepreneurs, the need to increase the tourist exchange, and the establishment of interbank connections.

During the talks, the sides compared notes on various issues on the international agenda, including preparations for the next round of the Astana process on Syria, the situation in the Middle East, and initiatives in the field of inter-Islamic rapprochement.

In his one-day visit to Tehran, Mr. Abdrakhmanov also met with major Iranian businesses working in Kazakhstan, or companies that intended to invest in our country. The Minister informed them of the Kazakh government’s measures to enhance economic diplomacy, and attract investors to priority sectors of the economy. During the meeting, Iranian business people touched upon the acute problems that are to be solved by the continued improvement in trade and economic ties between Kazakhstan and Iran.