Khair Omarov. The Person, the Citizen, the Diplomat


Honored Diplomatic Service Officer

of the Republic of Kazakhstan

The Person, the Citizen, the Diplomat

At the presentation of the Hungarian Order of the Holy Crown Middle Cross (with) Star by President Arpad Genz. Photo from Kurmanguzhin's family photo archive.

In a family, there are people who eventually become the pride of a nation. One of them is certainly my unforgettable friend, my agemate Salim Kurmanguzhin, who passed away at the age of 85 due to a serious illness. He was born and brought up in a hard-working peasant family. Kurmanguzhin turned into a highly intelligent person as he received a good education. His soul reverently treasured three values: parents, family and Motherland. He deeply honored his parents. His father, Aleken-agai, for many years was the head of an agricultural enterprise. He was an active and strong advocate of the collective-farm movement and was in friendly relations with well-known Kazakh statesperson Zh. Tashenov – the relations that arose during the years of studying together. He also played a role in the fate of his son and his accomplishments in the field of diplomacy.

Kurmanguzhin adored and loved with his whole soul his wife Lyaila - a contemporary, a graduate of the chemical faculty of Kazakh State University, who defended her thesis and was awarded the high academic title of Candidate of Chemical Sciences. She returned his love, became a faithful friend, a solid support, a strong home front in work, activities, undertakings, the path. They raised two sons, Rustem and Zhassulan, who gave them grandchildren and great-grandchildren, creating a whole clan and the tree of the Kurmanguzhins. The children of Kurmanguzhin followed in his footsteps, forming a diplomatic dynasty.

As for the other two titles of this article's heading, they are related to the professional biography and activities of Kurmanguzhin. He describes 45 years of his diplomatic service in his book of memoirs published in 2003. He was and remained a lifelong diplomat.

In the years of maturity and onwards, Kurmanguzhin, although he had left the Central Office of the Foreign Ministry, remained in its system, providing advisory and methodological assistance. He was the head of the advanced education department for ambassadors and senior diplomats of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan. The post-MFA period of Kurmanguzhin's life was characterised by his educational and teaching activities. It should be noted that he had reached academic heights, having defended his thesis. While teaching in a number of educational institutions, including KIMEP University, Kurmanguzhin gave a series of lectures on diplomatic studies in English. Within this framework, he linked his diplomatic practice with the theory of foreign policy. He is the author of several books, manuals and brochures.

Kurmanguzhin was a nuts-and-bolts diplomat, a systemic and career one. After graduating from the Institute of Foreign Languages, Kurmanguzhin devoted his whole life to the diplomatic field. He was a Soviet diplomat who represented the interests of the USSR abroad and worked in senior positions on three continents. The countries he worked in the Soviet era are Egypt, Ethiopia and Turkey. These countries were not only interesting in terms of history, but were also important for the USSR's foreign policy. While there, Kurmanguzhin turned into a professional diplomat. When Kazakhstan achieved its independence, he became one of the leaders of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and headed the Kazakhstan Embassy in Hungary. Besides that, he became the first Kazakh Ambassador who was awarded the highest state award in the country of stay after completing his foreign business trip.

It is essential to note that while working in various territorial and functional departments in the midst of foreign business trips, Kurmanguzhin also worked in such a reputable agency of the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the General Secretariat. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs used the secretariat to communicate with other departments and to control the execution of proposals and requests, reference materials and other documents sent from embassies and foreign missions to the central office. This experience was very useful to Kurmanguzhin when he became the first Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of independent Kazakhstan. He played a crucial role in Kazakhstan's independence and made a great contribution to the legal foundation of the foreign ministry, as well as to the creation of its material and technical base. Kurmanguzhin addressed not only the distribution of responsibilities and general management, but also organisational issues, and was in charge of the European area. Few people know that U.S. Secretary of State James Baker communicated directly with Kurmanguzhin two or three times to accelerate the resolution of urgent problems in bilateral relations.

Both in Soviet times and in the field of diplomacy of independent Kazakhstan, Kurmanguzhin worked dedicatedly and fruitfully and was awarded state awards and government insignia. He takes his rightful place as a statesperson, as well as a famous Kazakh diplomat among the constellation of his colleagues.

As long as the Kazakh people prosper and an independent Kazakhstan exists, his image and face will remain in the memory of his contemporaries and future generations as an example of serving the Motherland.

Goodbye, my never-to-be-forgotten friend. Imanyn salamat bolsyn!
Created at : 21.12.2018, 12:30, Updated at : 21.12.2018, 12:30