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President Nursultan Nazarbayev directed the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs to increase its emphasis on international economic activities during a Feb. 3 extended meeting of the ministry’s board.
Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov, other government ministers, Chairman of Astana EXPO 2017 Akhmetzhan Yessimov, Kazakh ambassadors and the Ministry’s senior management attended the meeting.
Nazarbayev noted that the ministry was created 25 years ago under difficult conditions and thanked the ministry’s diplomats for strengthening the independence of the state and developing its foreign policy.
“Today, our country has diplomatic relations with 178 countries; there are 60 Kazakh embassies and diplomatic missions covering 94 countries, more than 50 diplomatic missions of other states and international organisations operate in Kazakhstan. Many foreign policy initiatives have been implemented due to our diplomacy. Kazakhstan for the first time claims to be a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. In this regard, we hope to get support from countries with which we have friendly relations,” said the President.
Nazarbayev added that Kazakhstan has also helped create international organisations, such as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). He also reminded that Kazakhstan hosted the OSCE summit, the first in this century, and the 38th Session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Council of Foreign Ministers.
“All this had a positive effect. Carrying out these activities led to the sounding of the name of our country in the international arena. At the same time, the challenges ahead are no less important. Therefore, taking into account our achievements, today we have to think about the next steps,” the Kazakh President concluded.
During the meeting, Idrissov noted that the foreign ministry would continue to promote the foreign policy and economic interests of the country to develop Kazakhstan’s international authority and strengthen bilateral cooperation with other states.
“Nowadays, Kazakhstan has a high international prestige… [Many foreign leaders] expressed their support for ongoing course of political and economic reforms as well as policy of peace. The international community considers the Plan of the Nation “100 Concrete Steps to implement five institutional reforms” as a serious political message of Kazakhstan’s commitment to evolutionary development and progressive integration into the system of global relations,” said Idrissov.
He added that the current global economic situation requires, above all, improving the methods and tools of expansion of “economic diplomacy.” According to Idrissov, a key focus of the Foreign Ministry is to attract foreign investment, facilitate implementation of industrial and innovative projects and the “Nurly Zhol” (Path to the Future) programme of massive investments into infrastructure development.
“Implementation of Strategy 2050, the ideology of Mangilik El (Eternal Nation), a gradual achievement of the stated goal of joining the 30 most-developed countries, creation of favourable external conditions for political, economic and social reforms inland and protection of national interests abroad remain the key priorities of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry,” said Idrissov.
He also emphasised that Kazakhstan has become a recognised leader in nuclear disarmament and an active moderator in the dialogue of cultures, religions and civilisations.
Measures to ensure participation of foreign states in EXPO 2017 Astana were also discussed at the meeting. So far, 70 countries have officially confirmed plans to participate in the expo.
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