1 November, 2017, Astana - King Abdullah II of Jordan has paid an official visit to Kazakhstan and met with President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The two leaders discussed ways to strengthen existing co-operation in all areas, including renewable energy, agriculture, pharmaceutics, defence industry, transport and logistics.
While in Astana, King Abdullah received the inaugural Nazarbayev Prize for a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World and Global Security. The Jordanian monarch was decorated for his input into “regional stability, global security and steadfast stance against war and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."
“This award is in recognition of your contributions and manifestation of hope that as conflicts rage you would continue with a peace-making role, which brings people closer," the Kazakh President said.
Hespecifically highlighted Jordan's acceptance of up to 1.3million refugees since the Syrian crisis began more than six years ago, as well as Amman's involvement in the Astana Process peace talks on Syria.Jordan's contribution to peace process between Israel and Palestine was also noted.
Expressing his gratitude, King Abdullah commended President Nazarbayev's own role in promoting nuclear disarmament and seeking peaceful resolution for international conflicts.“We value what you do to make this world a better and safer place. Your leadership is important for all of us," he said.
According to the monarch,“this award is for the entire people of Jordan." It was said that the prize money would go to support excelling Jordanian students in public schools.
The Kazakh and Jordanian leaders also discussed specific issues on the international agenda, including the war in Syria, the situation in Iraq, the diplomatic crisis around Qatar, as well as the fight against terrorism and joint efforts to promote religious tolerance and nuclear non-proliferation.
The visit by the King of Jordan came a day after the seventh high-level international meeting on Syria concluded in the Kazakh capital. Jordan participated as an observer during the talks. According to Nazarbayev, “as a result of the Astana Process talks the level of violence in Syria diminished significantly, as the local population have a chance to return to peaceful life."
President Nazarbayev and King Abdullah agreed to further develop bilateral ties between the two countries, as well as to continue mutual efforts to contribute to global peace and security.
The Nazarbayev Prize for a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World and Global Security was established in 2016. Its objective is to nudge international actors to pursue more vigorously efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
Kazakhstan has been an active promoter and contributor to nuclear disarmament. After independence Kazakhstan renounced and decommissioned its nuclear arsenal, the world's fourth largest at that time. In 2009, Kazakhstan and its four neighbours established the Central Asian Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (CANWFZ) under the Treaty of Semipalatinsk. Kazakhstan actively works with other countries, such as Jordan, to establish non-nuclear zones in another regions, especially in the Middle East. In addition, a low-enriched uranium bank under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency has opened in Kazakhstan this year, which contributes to the strengthening of the security of the international nuclear fuel cycle and to nuclear non-proliferation.