ASTANA, September 5, 2018 - Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov conducted a number of meetings in the margins of the “Empowering Women in Afghanistan” regional conference, held in Astana.
In the course of the meeting with Natalia Gherman, who is Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Head of the Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), the parties gave consideration to the current issues of partnership between Kazakhstan and the United Nations. The Minister emphasized that regional security, cooperation and sustainable development are constantly in the focus of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, as evidenced by the conference. He added that Kazakhstan and its international partners will interact to implement the outcomes of the Astana forum on Afghanistan. In view of this, the prospects of establishing a regional UN hub in Almaty, which can serve as a platform for coordinating projects discussed at the Astana conference, were examined.
The parties welcomed the positive results of multilateral cooperation of the Central Asian states, which have been observed over recent years. This year's advisory working meeting of the Central Asian leaders in Astana, the Caspian Sea summits, the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea and the Turkic Council enhanced the regional partnership and provided large opportunities for the deepening of mutually beneficial trade and economic, cultural and humanitarian relations, both in Central Asia and with neighboring regions.
The United Nations strongly supports Kazakhstan's international initiatives in promoting the interests of Central Asia, as well as matters of peace, security and sustainable development, including in the UN Security Council. Central Asia is rightly regarded by the international community as a role model for successful regional collaboration, and it is groundbreaking that Kazakhstan took the lead role in integrating Afghanistan into the region in order to facilitate the peace process in the country and to strengthen regional stability.
During the meeting with Afghanistan's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Adela Raz, it was underlined that the two countries should seek to intensify their relations. The growth of trade and economic cooperation was noted, while trade turnover at the end of 2017 was 564.7 million US dollars. Kazakhstan remains committed to its international obligations to provide economic assistance to Afghanistan. Extensive work is carried out within the national system of official development assistance, the parties stated.
Deputy Foreign Minister Raz expressed gratitude for Kazakhstan's organizing of the regional conference, as well as for the attention that the country pays to the problems of Afghan women. “We highly appreciate the assistance of Kazakhstan, it is important for our people. Thousands of Afghan students have studied in Kazakhstan and are now using all their knowledge and skills to build a peaceful Afghanistan,“ she noted.
The interests of Afghanistan are taken into account by the Kazakh side in the course of its activities as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
The interaction between the two countries will continue under such formats as the CICA, OIC, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, CARICC and others.