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ASTANA, June 20. /TASS/. Kazakhstan is negotiating visa liberalization with the European Union, the country’s foreign minister, Yerlan Idrisov, said on Monday.
"We are currently in talks with our European partner on easing visa issuance procedures for our citizens," he said, adding that Kazakhstan is nor seeing it as its immediate task to abandon visas at all. "We are moving towards it stage-by-stage. At a current stage, it is necessary to maximally ease trips to Europe."
Visa liberalization, according to the Kazakh foreign minister, requires big work in four major spheres, such as the issuance of "modern passports," border control procedures, efforts against trans-border crime and the signing of a readmission agreement. "We are working on this package. There is a governmental plan, an inter-ministerial group is working. We are ready to begin talks with the European Union," he said.
The ministry sees one of major tasks in "easing foreign trips for Kazakh citizens," Idrisov said, adding that for these ends it is extending the list of countries with which it has visa-free travel agreements. As of today, it includes 19 countries.