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Online meeting of the Special Working Group of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) held under the Chairmanship of Talgat Kaliyev, Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Kazakhstan, press service of the Kazakh MFA reports.
At the meeting, Member States revised and discussed draft Annual Plan of Implementation of CBMs for 2024, draft Budget of the CICA Secretariat for 2024, as well as Concept Papers in the priority areas - Natural Disaster Management and Environmental Protection.
Following the meeting, the SWG participants recommended to the CICA Senior Officials Committee to make decision upon the discussed matters at the next SOC meeting on 12 December 2023.
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Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Roman Vassilenko met with a Czech delegation led by Director of Prague Zoo Miroslav Bobek, who arrived in Astana to discuss the project on the reintroduction of Przewalski’s horses in Kazakhstan, press service of the Kazakh MFA reports.
During the meeting, the parties discussed further implementation of the project and agreed to make joint efforts to ensure the successful reintroduction of the horses. This endeavor holds significance not only for Kazakhstan but also for the restoration of biological diversity on the planet.
I am very pleased that the project, originating from informal discussions between our embassies in Bratislava and Prague and the Bratislava and Prague zoos, has received such powerful development and support from the governments of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Czech Republic," stated Roman Vassilenko during the meeting. "I would like to assure our Czech friends and colleagues from other ministries of Kazakhstan that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan will fully support this important and kind project."
For reference: During the visit of Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Petr Fiala to Astana in April 2023, a Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between the Forestry and Wildlife Committee of the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Prague Zoo, laying the foundation for the project for the reintroduction of Przewalski’s horses to Kazakhstan.
The project aims to relocate about 40 horses from Europe to Kazakhstan within five years, establishing the groundwork for the reintroduced population and recreation of the original functional steppe ecosystems.
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As part of the strategy to strengthen bilateral relations and promote Kazakhstan's interests on the international stage, Minister of Industry and Construction of Kazakhstan Kanat Sharlapaev has embarked on a working visit to the United States of America, press service of the Ministry of Industry and Construction reports.
During his visit the Minister is scheduled to engage in discussions with key figures in American politics and business. A particular focus will be directed towards exploring opportunities for deepening cooperation in the fields of geology and mining, as well as evaluating prospective projects in energy and environmental sectors.
The Minister is set to meet with representatives from leading American companies, including Nisha Biswal, Deputy CEO of DFC, along with members of the USKZBC and the U.S. Geological Survey, to deliberate on potential collaborations and investments in Kazakhstan's economy.
The agenda for the bilateral meetings is expected to cover cooperation in the domain of critical minerals.
Kazakhstan proposes strategic cooperation in this sector to the USA, encompassing the supply of aluminum, scandium, and gallium. Kazakhstan is ready to offer tolling services utilizing existing capacities and to discuss promising projects for the exploration and mining of tungsten, cobalt, lithium, titanium, and other valuable minerals. The discussions are anticipated to address volumes, long-term contracts, and investment support issues in this strategically significant area.
Notably, Kazakhstan produces and processes 17 out of the 50 types of critical minerals identified by the USA. The collaboration between the two countries has already seen success in the supply of titanium, beryllium, tantalum, and niobium. Kazakhstani beryllium and tantalum products are utilized by American entities such as Transport Technologies LLC, IBC US Holdings Inc., and Tosoh SMD Inc.
The visit underscores Kazakhstan's openness to international dialogue and the country's readiness to actively engage with the global community to achieve shared objectives in the industrial and geological exploration spheres.
This visit marks a significant milestone in strengthening bilateral and sectoral ties between Kazakhstan and the USA, paving new pathways for cooperation and fostering a mutually beneficial partnership.
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Ambassador of Kazakhstan Serzhan Abdykarimov held a meeting with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia Tri Tharyat, during which issues of multilateral cooperation and interaction in regional and international organizations were discussed, press service of the Kazakh MFA reports.
Both parties noted the similarity of positions on a number of current international issues and expressed satisfaction with the mutual support of the foreign policy initiatives of the two countries.
The diplomats also discussed the prospects for cooperation within the framework of the UN, the IAEA, and the CICA.
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Ambassador of Kazakhstan Margulan Baimukhan met with the Secretary General of the Benelux Union Frans Weekers and Deputy Secretary Generals Michel-Etienne Tilemans and Jean-Claude Meyer, press service of the Kazakh MFA reports.
The parties discussed promising areas of cooperation between Kazakhstan and the General Secretariat of the Benelux Union. Particular attention was paid to the priorities of Kazakhstan in the European direction, as well as the implementation of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Kazakhstan and the European Union.
During the conversation, Secretary General Frans Weekers introduced the Ambassador to the formats of cooperation among the Benelux countries. The leadership of the General Secretariat also informed about cooperation in an intergovernmental and interparliamentary format among member states. The parties also discussed the experience of interaction between law enforcement authorities of the Benelux member states.
In turn, Margulan Baimukhan informed foreign colleagues about the development of the international transport "Middle Corridor", as well as about Kazakhstan’s goals to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. In this regard, the leadership of the General Secretariat expressed interest in the topic of "green" hydrogen production in Kazakhstan.
In addition, the Kazakh diplomat emphasized the main priorities of cooperation between the Central Asian countries and the EU. Special emphasis was placed on the results of the Global Gateway Investors Forum for EU-Central Asia Transport Connectivity held in January 2024 in Brussels, during which it was announced that the European Union intends to attract up to 10 billion EUR of investments in the development of a transport corridor from Central Asia to the EU.
At the end of the meeting, the Ambassador invited Frans Weekers to take part in the Astana International Forum, which will be held in Kazakhstan in June of this year.
For reference: The Benelux Union generates approximately 8% of the GDP of the European Union and includes the Kingdoms of Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The organization was founded on September 5, 1944. The political-economic union initially focused on customs barriers and ensuring the free movement of people, goods and services. Currently, the activities of the Benelux organization covers a wider range of topics, including sustainable development, security, energy, transport, etc.
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Consular consultations between the Foreign Ministries of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Estonia were held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia under the leadership of Bauyrzhan Akatayev, Director of the Consular Service Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, and Tiina Nirk, Director General of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, press service of the Kazakh MFA reports.
During the consultations, the parties discussed in detail the issues of simplification of the visa regime of the European Union for citizens of Kazakhstan, including the next necessary steps of Kazakhstan in this direction.
A special impetus was also given to the issue of improving the mechanisms for protecting the rights of citizens of the two countries, including those engaged in labor activity.
After the consultations, the parties confirmed their interest in continuing cooperation between the competent institutions of the two countries.
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Within the framework of the annual reception of the UNESCO Circle of Permanent Delegates, the Delegation of Kazakhstan presented the culinary traditions of their country to the ambassadors to and the personnel of the intergovernmental organization with a mandate to safeguard the world’s cultural diversity, press service of the Kazakh MFA reports.
The Kazakh corner featured hot dishes, appetizers, and desserts of the national cuisine, which stands as an integral component of its intangible cultural heritage. Aigerim Musagazhinova, a prominent ethnographer and restaurateur, provided to visitors at the stand insightful commentary on the unique traditions and the captivating variety of the national cuisine. Guests were also captivated by her beautifully illustrated book titled Unique Dishes of Kazakh Cuisine, featuring 50 authentic recipes in Kazakh, Russian, and English.
Kazakhstan takes great pride in its remarkable contributions to UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, with 13 inscribed elements showcasing the nation’s identity. Among these, Nauryz, Traditional Spring Festive Rites of Kazakh Horse Breeders, and Flatbread Making and Sharing Culture (Lavash, Katyrma, Jupka, Yufka) are related to various aspects of the Kazakh traditional cuisine.
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Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Murat Nurtleu took part in the high-level segment of the Conference on Disarmament, press service of the Kazakh MFA reports.
In his statement, the Kazakh Foreign Minister stressed the importance of the Conference on Disarmament, which remains the sole multilateral forum for negotiations on disarmament.
The Kazakh diplomat noted that in modern geopolitical conditions, disarmament issues are especially important for promoting dialogue based on the UN Charter and international law.
Minister Nurtleu emphasized that nuclear disarmament is an unchanging priority of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy. He stated that our country would chair two of the most important multilateral forums - the Second Preparatory Committee of the Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the third meeting of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons - and would also host the meeting of representatives of all nuclear-weapon-free zones this year.
Noting the importance of strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention, the Minister called on delegations to work together to implement the initiative of the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to create an International Agency for Biological Safety.
In addition, as part of his visit to Geneva, Minister Nurtleu held bilateral meetings with the heads of the UN Office in Geneva and the International Labor Organization.
During the meeting with the Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva Tatiana Valovaya, the readiness to reinforce interaction on all key topics of the global agenda at the Geneva-based platform was confirmed.
The parties discussed Kazakhstan's initiatives in the field of nuclear disarmament, strengthening the non-proliferation regime of weapons of mass destruction, creating the International Agency for Biosafety, as well as the Regional Center for Sustainable Development Goals for Central Asia and Afghanistan.
In this context, the Kazakh Foreign Minister noted that our country attaches great importance to the activities of the Conference on Disarmament and considers it as the only and indispensable multilateral negotiating platform in the field of disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control. Nurtleu expressed gratitude to the head of the UN Office for supporting the annual events dedicated to the International Day against Nuclear Tests (August 29).
During a meeting with the Director General of the International Labor Organization, Gilbert Houngbo, Minister Nurtleu informed him about the reforms carried out in the Republic of Kazakhstan in the field of legal regulation of labor relations, aimed, among other things, at expanding the protection of workers' rights, improving working conditions and increasing the minimum wage. In addition, the Kazakh diplomat announced the country’s intention to continue to bring national legislation in the area of labor rights, employment and social protection in accordance with ILO standards.
Furthermore, Foreign Minister voiced Kazakhstan’s support for the ILO chief’s initiative on the Global Coalition for Social Justice and expressed our country’s readiness to join it.
During the meeting, Nurtleu conveyed to ILO Director General an invitation on behalf of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to the Astana International Forum, to be held in June this year.
On the margins of the Conference, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan held separate bilateral negotiations with Foreign Ministers Nasser Bourita of Morocco, Riyad al-Maliki of Palestine, Filip Ivanović of Montenegro, Margus Tsahkna of Estonia and Hanke Bruins Slot of the Netherlands.
The parties discussed the current situation and prospects for the development of cooperation at both the bilateral and multilateral levels, including mutual support in international organizations.
For reference: the Conference on Disarmament was created in 1979 by decision of the first special session of the UN General Assembly on disarmament, held in 1978. The CD is the successor to the Ten-Nation Committee (1960), the Eighteen-Nation Committee (1962-1968), and the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament (1969-1978). Currently, CD is comprised of 65 Member States. The Conference traditionally meets at the Palais des Nations in Geneva (Switzerland).
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Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Murat Nurtleu, during his visit to Geneva, held a number of bilateral meetings with the heads of international organizations, press service of the Kazakh MFA reports.
At the meeting with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the current global challenges, deepening regional cooperation between the countries of Central Asia, as well as the initiative to establish the UN Regional Hub for Sustainable Development for Central Asia and Afghanistan in Almaty were discussed. The Minister also conveyed an invitation from the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit, scheduled for July this year in Kazakhstan.
UN Secretary General Guterres, thanking for the invitation, highly appreciated the efforts of Kazakhstan in promoting sustainable development and strengthening international peace and security, including within the framework of regional organizations such as the SCO and CICA.
With the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk, Kazakhstan Foreign Minister discussed the productive work of our country in the Human Rights Council, as well as the progress in implementing the Action Plan on Human Rights and the Rule of Law and the recommendations of the OHCHR.
Volker Türk, positively assessing the ongoing democratic transformations in the country, welcomed the start of technical cooperation between Kazakhstan and his Office. He supported focusing joint work on the effective implementation of the tasks set by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan in order to further strengthen the human rights system of our country.
Moreover, Minister Nurtleu emphasized that the promotion and protection of human rights are an integral part of Kazakhstan's vision of a democratic and prosperous society. He said that these issues are the basis of the reforms carried out by President Tokayev in recent years.
During the meeting with WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus, there was noted a high level of cooperation, as well as the first official visit of the head of the World Health Office to Kazakhstan in October 2023 to participate in the Global Conference on Primary Health Care and the 73rd session of the Organization’s Regional Committee for Europe.
The parties discussed issues related to promoting the initiative of the Head of our State to create a Coalition for Primary Health Care.
The Minister informed Daren Tang, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), about the Government's task of creating conditions that promote the growth of the creative economy in the country. In this regard, an agreement was reached to enhance collaboration in the area of intellectual property.
The parties identified the opening of a Master's programme with a double diploma between WIPO and a Kazakh university, as well as the provision of technical assistance from the organization, as promising areas of interaction.
On the same day, Kazakhstan Foreign Minister held bilateral talks with the heads of the foreign ministries of Indonesia, Retno Marsudi; Vietnam, Bui Thanh Son; Saudi Arabia, Faisal Al-Saud; Switzerland, Ignazio Cassis; Albania, Igli Hasani; and Georgia, Ilia Darchiashvili.
The parties discussed the current state and prospects for further development of bilateral and multilateral cooperation, including mutual support within international organizations. Additionally, they addressed key aspects of activities within the Human Rights Council, including the joint promotion of initiatives on current issues on the UN agenda.
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