5 December 2003
ASTANA – German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder met representatives of human rights organisations Friday in the central Asian republic of Kazakhstan and attended a German-Kazakh economic forum together with President Nursultan Nasarbajev.
Both politicians had on Thursday agreed to double the current volume of trade of about EUR1.8 billion within three years.
Schroeder was due to meet 300,000 Kazakhs of German origin before returning home from a trip to China and the Asian republic later Friday.
At the end of talks in the capital Astana, Schroeder said the Asian market was becoming increasingly important for Germany as every fourth job in the Federal Republic relied on exports.
Soviet leader Joseph Stalin had ordered the deportation of Germans to Kazakhstan from the Volga in 1948. They had originally numbered about one million. Most of them emigrated to Germany during the last decades of the 20th century and the remaining ones receive financial aid from the German government.
A total of 77 cultural facilities offering language courses, social services for the needy and free medical care are funded.
Subject: German news