Astana: Relations between India and Kazakhstan date back to antiquity and there is shared cultural affinity between the people of the two countries, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here on Saturday.
"The Great Silk Route bound our countries together through the exchange of knowledge and ideas. There is shared cultural affinity between our peoples," Manmohan Singh said in his toast during a luncheon hosted by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
"In more recent times, Kazakhstan was one of the first Central Asian states with which India established diplomatic relations. Today, our two countries enjoy a multi-faceted, vibrant strategic partnership," the Prime Minister said.
Welcoming Nazarbayev`s re-election as the President, he said his visit to India in 2009 laid the basis for the development of a strategic bilateral partnership.
"I am convinced that a strong partnership between India and Kazakhstan will contribute to peace, stability and development in Central Asia and beyond." he said.
The Prime Minister also welcomed the agreements signed between the two countries in various fields, including civil nuclear energy, oil, agriculture, cyber security and healthcare.
The Prime Minister arrived here on Friday for his maiden two-day visit after a three-day trip to China during which he attended the 3rd BRICS summit and also held bilateral talks with the presidents of Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa.