At their meeting in Bern, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis and Kazakh Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi underscored their two countries' good relations. Mr Cassis described Kazakhstan as an important partner for Switzerland in Central Asia and an anchor of stability in the region, and congratulated the country on the 30th anniversary of its independence. Two bilateral agreements were signed during the visit: an agreement on the abolition of visas for holders of diplomatic or service passports, and an agreement on employment for persons accompanying members of diplomatic missions, consular posts and permanent missions.
Issues covered during the talks included the close cooperation that characterises Swiss-Kazakh relations on water diplomacy and the Bretton Woods institutions. In this regard, Mr Cassis highlighted the upcoming 30th anniversary of their common voting constituencies in the Bretton Woods institutions, scheduled to be celebrated in Switzerland in 2022.
Mr Cassis and his counterpart discussed the security situation in Afghanistan and its consequences for other countries of Central Asia. Mr Cassis went on to thank Kazakhstan for making its airspace available for the evacuation flights from Kabul to Tashkent. He expressed his concern and called on the new authorities in Afghanistan to respect international humanitarian law and human rights, in particular those of women and minorities.
Mr Cassis and Mr Tileuberdi met for the first time in February 2020 on the margins of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. On that occasion, Mr Cassis invited his counterpart on an official visit to Switzerland. Mr Cassis and Mr Tileuberdi stressed how important it was to be able to renew personal contacts again after more than a year of the pandemic. They also underscored the importance of cooperation and international institutions in addressing the coronavirus crisis.
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