Meeting of Intergovernmental Commission for Ethnic Germans in Kazakhstan marks new stage of Kazakh-German cooperation

Meeting of Intergovernmental Commission for Ethnic Germans in Kazakhstan marks new stage of Kazakh-German cooperation
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The 20th anniversary meeting of the Kazakh-German Intergovernmental Commission for the Affairs of Ethnic Germans in the Republic of Kazakhstan was organized today in Astana in order to strengthen cultural and humanitarian cooperation between Kazakhstan and Germany and discuss the affairs of the German ethnic group, Kazinform News Agency learnt from the Kazakh Foreign Ministry.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Roman Vassilenko and Germany’s Federal Government Commissioner for Matters Related to Ethnic German Resettlers and National Minorities, Member of the Bundestag Natalie Pawlik co-chaired the meeting. Representatives of the two countries’ ministries and organizations, including the “Wiedergeburt” (Rebirth) foundation, also took part in the work of the Commission.

According to the agenda of the meeting, the parties discussed cooperation between Kazakhstan and Germany and measures taken to support the cultural, linguistic and national identity of Kazakh Germans, as well as the implementation of joint projects in the field of science, education and culture.

The Commission co-chairs noted the mutual interest in expanding partnership within the framework of the Intergovernmental Commission and agreed to continue interaction to strengthen the “living bridge” connecting Kazakhstan and Germany.

For reference: according to statistics, there are 226,000 ethnic Germans in Kazakhstan and around 1 million Germans resettlers from Kazakhstan in Germany.

Deputy Minister Vassilenko emphasized that the multiethnic composition of Kazakhstan’s population is an important factor in the successful development of the country. “Thousands of kilometers separating our countries do not hinder the development and deepening of Kazakh-German relations, as well as the promotion of rapprochement of our peoples. By virtue of history, Kazakhstan has a large German diaspora, while a large number of former citizens of Kazakhstan have resettled in Germany,” noted the diplomat.

Ethnic Germans are widely represented in all spheres of life in Kazakhstan. The Kazakh-German Center in Astana, the Kazakh-German University in Almaty, the Kazakh-German Institute of Sustainable Engineering in Aktau, the German Drama Theatre, as well as the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper are some of the key structures that contribute to strengthening cultural and humanitarian interaction between Kazakhstan and Germany.

That is why the Kazakh side pays great attention to effective partnership with the German authorities in the field of culture, education and social sphere, which helps ensure that Kazakhstan’s ethnic Germans have good prospects in the future and are thereby able to make their important contribution to the development of mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.

In turn, Natalie Pawlik welcomed the dynamically developing bilateral cooperation noting that Kazakhstan is a key partner for Germany in Central Asia. The Co-Chair informed about the assistance provided by the German Federal Government to the Germans of Kazakhstan and future plans. According to her, supporting the study of the German language in Kazakhstan can contribute to the preservation of the national identity of the German ethnic group and will also become a good prerequisite for training professionals for joint investment projects.

Following the Commission’s meeting, a communique was signed providing for further measures of intergovernmental cooperation.

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