On the second leg of his Central Asian visit., German foreign minister Kinkel conferred in Almaty with Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbaev on strengthening bilateral economic relations. Kazakhstan’s more than half a million-strong ethnic German population — mostly Soviet-era deportees and their descendants–"can become a bridge connecting the two countries," Kinkel said. He and Kazakh foreign minister Kasimzhomart signed an agreement on cultural and economic support for Kazakhstan’s ethnic German population. Kinkel reaffirmed Bonn’s policy of accepting the repatriation to Germany of those opting for that solution while providing support to those choosing to stay in Kazakhstan. The German state is prepared to underwrite investment in farms and processing enterprises created by, or employing, local Germans in Kazakhstan. Trade among the two countries has stagnated recently as a result of Kazakhstan’s inability to use part of German commercial credits and to repay the portion it has used. (Western agencies, Interfax, May 31 and June 1)
Tajik Government Troops Resume All-Out Offensive.