ASTANA, October 3, 2017 – Kazakhstan is interested in strengthening security, dialogue and understanding in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and supports the implementation of a structured dialogue on security issues within the organization. The basis for achieving the goals is the Astana Declaration adopted at the 2010 OSCE Summit in Astana convened at the initiative of the Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, whose direct participation in the negotiations led to aconsensus on the text of that most important historical document. This was stated by the Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov at the meeting with Austria's Deputy Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs Alexander Marsсhik who visited Kazakhstan as a Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office –Austria's Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs Sebastian Kurz.
The parties discussed a wide range of issues related to the state and prospects of cooperation between Kazakhstan and the OSCE and exchanged views on regional and international issues.
Abdrakhmanov praised Austria's activities as the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, emphasizing the timeliness of its priorities, in particular on confidence restoration, conflict resolution and countering radicalization in the Organization area.
“Kazakhstan is interested in enhancing security and dialogue throughout the OSCE area, which is especially necessary today, when new challenges and threats are emerging. In these conditions, all the Organization's member states hould unite in order to tackle the negative trends," said the Minister.
Marshik thanked the Kazakh side for the positive assessment of Austria's work and noted Kazakhstan's constructive role within the OSCE. According to the Austrian diplomat, Kazakhstan, thanks to its balanced and pragmatic foreign policy, is a reliable and trustworthy partner of the Organization, in which the 2010 summit and the adoption of the Astana Declaration are still important pivot points for settling many issues.
The sides agreed that both the Summit and the Declaration are still the only events of their kind in the 21st century. They also discussed the preparations for the Organization's main event of this year – the OSCE Ministerial Meeting in Vienna in December. It was noted that the forthcoming meeting is of great importance for continuing dialogue on international issues.
In light of the upcoming Austria's chairmanship in the OSCE Group of Asian Partners for Co-operation in 2018, Abdrakhmanov mentioned President Nazarbayev's initiative to convene the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), which marks its 25th anniversary in the coming days.
“Today the CICA has become an important factor in ensuring peace and security in the Asian continent. It seems that the establishment of cooperation trough the OSCE-CICA-ASEAN will open new prospects for interregional cooperation and create favorable conditions for further construction of the Eurasian security belt," Abdrakhmanov noted.
The sides also praised President Nazarbayev's foreign policy and noted his significant contribution to international efforts in strengthening global security, including the international meetings on Syria within the Astana Process, the reconciliation of the leaders of Russia and Turkey and Kazakhstan's contribution to the early peaceful settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine.
It was stressed that Kazakhstan and Austria hold similar positions on the urgent issues of the modern world. In this context, the sides examined the status and prospects of the nuclear arms reduction process and the role of the parties in strengthening the WMD nonproliferation regime. They also highlighted the need for the earliest signing of the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weaponsby as many states as possible.
Particular attention was paid to expanding bilateral cooperation, including in light of the partial application of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Kazakhstan and the European Union. Abdrakhmanov stressed Kazakhstan sees great potential for further cooperation with Austria. Despite the reduction in the total trade volume between the two countries in recent years, largely due to the global economic crisis, the parties agreed to undertake joint efforts to expand trade and economic relations.
The Special Representative congratulated Kazakhstan on the success of the EXPO2017International Exhibition, which made a significant contribution to the development of alternative energy sources. The Kazakh diplomat thanked his Austrian counterparts for their active participation in the Exhibition and invited them to cooperate in the implementation of such projects at the Astana International Financial Center, the International IT Startup Hub and the International Center for the Development of Green Technologies and Investment Projects, which are to be established at the Exhibition's facility.