"From Baikonur to Astana": Astana has marked the 50th anniversary of Charles de Gaulle’s visit to Baikonur Cosmodrome. Kazakh Armed Forces’ national military-patriotic center organized a conference and exhibition to mark this date. On June 25, 1966, the French politician, the general arrived at the spaceport to be present during the launch of the carrier-rocket "Vostok" with spacecraft and two intercontinental ballistic missiles. This event was the first ever visit of the Head of the European state on the territory of modern Kazakhstan.  

FRANCIS ETIENN, FRENCH AMBASSADOR TO KAZAKHSTAN:

It was a territory of Kazakhstan by the time when General de Gaulle came here, although it was a part of the Soviet Union. Therefore we can consider this date as the start of the French-Kazakh cooperation. We can be proud of our partnership. Intensive trade relations have been developed over the past 25 years. Trade turnover between the two countries amounts to more than a billion euros. The countries have developed strong cultural and educational ties.

The French Ambassador to Kazakhstan says, Charles de Gaulle's visit to Baikonur laid the foundation to cooperation in space research. At present, the two countries have successfully implemented many joint projects in this area. For example, satellites assembly complex is under construction in Astana now. The diplomat also stressed that Kazakhstan is a strategic partner of France in Central Asia, and the cooperation between the two countries will deepen every year. 

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