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Haverhill School Welcomes Kazakhstan Ambassador

Monday, 23rd October 2006.

Sixth form students went into school on a day off to meet Kazakhstan Ambassador, His Excellency Erian Idrissov when he paid them a visit yesterday.

West Suffolk MP, Richard Spring, arranged the visit after paying a visit himself to the former Soviet controlled country. The ambassador was greeted at Samuel Ward Arts and Technology College by Howard Lay, the headteacher, and then talked to a group of students.

The ambassador told the students his country was going through exciting times as it worked to build up a new democracy, whereas many in the UK took for granted their system of elections and rule of law.

Working in partnership with countries such as the UK would help speed up the creation of a new generation with a new mentality in his country.

Although Kazakhstan has 120 ethnic groups and 40 different religions, residents co-exist peacefully.

"It is remarkable, people from all different secta are represented in the country, which is an important role model for everyone," he said. "Not a single drop of blood has been shed on religious grounds, tolerance and respect are the most valuable thing in our society. He added, "I think the school here is very well organised and disciplined and you feel that people have a love for the place."

Mr Spring said he wanted the ambassador to see Samuel Ward was a dynamic school which was a critical part of the town's success.

Mr Lay said he would like to establish a link with a school in Kazakhstan and was presented with a gift of a picture of an ancient warrior crafted in leather.

Kazakhstan occupies a hugely important geo-political location in Central Asia and is the size of Europe with a population of only 18 million. It is becoming a hugely rich country because of its massive oil and gas reserves and is putting itself on the world map. It is a constitutionally secular Muslim society, with one third of the population being Russian.

"We are very keen to promote ties with this remarkable country emerging on the international stage - it is prosperous and stable and could be a role model for the region," Mr Spring said.

Haverhill Weekly News

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