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Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Murat Nurtleu participated in a working meeting of the foreign ministers of the Collective Security Treaty Organization in New York, Kazinform reports via the Kazakh MFA.
Murat Nurteu informed his colleagues about Kazakhstan’s stance on various aspects of the CSTO’s activity.
The working meeting of the CSTO foreign ministers was held a friendly atmosphere. The sides confirmed their commitment to further development of the further CSTO-UN mutually beneficial cooperation.
Tell a friendKazakhstan voted for the UNDP resolution 242 calling on Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 borders, Kazinform News Agency cite the website of the Organization. The vote took place during the 78th session of the United National General Assembly. The resolution was adopted by a vote with 91 in favour, including Russia, Brazil, India, China, Saudi Arabia, eight against, including the US and UK, and 62 abstentions. The UNGA resolution made up of eight items is non-binding apart from UN Security Council resolutions.
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Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé held talks in extended format in Astana with the participation of the two countries’ official delegations, Kazinform News Agency reports via Akorda.
Welcoming the Togolese delegation, the President of Kazakhstan noted symbolism of this visit paid on the eve of the 10th anniversary since establishment of diplomatic relations between the two friendly countries.
As Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said, today’s negotiations mark a new era in the bilateral relations and provide a good opportunity for studying the promising areas of mutually beneficial cooperation. He said Kazakhstan is interested in strengthening the ties with Togo and considers it as an important partner in Africa.
Despite a vast geographical distance, Kazakhstan and Togo have much in common, like multireligious and polyethnic composition of the population, he noted.
More than 100 ethnic groups live in Kazakhstan. The development of interconfessional and interreligious dialogue is one of priority areas of our state policy, said the Kazakh President.
According to him, Kazakhstan and Togo need to sign bilateral documents including an agreement on mutual protection of investments to unlock the potential of the bilateral partnership.
Having emphasized the importance of development of the bilateral trade and strengthening the ties between business communities, the President of Kazakhstan suggested choosing a person eligible for the appointment as the Honorary Consul of Kazakhstan to Togo, which will let "promote development of B2B contacts between the countries."
I believe that such countries as Kazakhstan and Togo may play more active and constructive role in promotion of international cooperation around the world, said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
Faure Gnassingbé thanked the Kazakh side for a warm welcome and confirmed Togo’s commitment to building cooperation in various spheres representing mutual interest.
He said Kazakhstan and Togo may become strategic partners. In his words, Kazakhstan has great economic potential, and Togolese delegation in interested in expanding cooperation in trade-economic sector, mining industry, agriculture, transport, and digitalization.
He then said that the talks aimed at the establishment of comprehensive ties proved the sides’ interest in deepening the interaction.
The two leaders discussed the prospects for the Kazakh-Togolese partnership. Special attention was given to building a political dialogue, deepening cooperation in trade-economic, investment, energy, transport-logistics, and cultural-humanitarian spheres as well as to the interaction in healthcare and military industry.
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Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov held talks with Deputy Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Ding Xuexiang, who is in Astana on a working visit, primeminister.kz reports.
During the meeting the parties discussed a wide range of issues of interstate cooperation in trade, investment, industry, energy, agriculture, transportation and logistics, culture, etc.
As Alikhan Smailov noted, at present the bilateral trade turnover between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the People's Republic of China demonstrates high indicators. Thus, last year it increased by 35% and reached an impressive volume of $24.2 billion. Dynamic growth continues this year.
In 10 months, mutual trade has grown by another 24%. I believe that at this pace we will soon be able to achieve the goal of increasing trade turnover to $40 billion, outlined by the heads of two states," Prime Minister said.
He also added that the visa-free regime, which came into effect on November 10, opens a new chapter in Kazakhstan-China relations.
This measure will significantly affect the stimulation of business contacts, trade facilitation, increase in mutual investments and tourism development. This is especially relevant in light of the upcoming "Year of Tourism of Kazakhstan in China," Alikhan Smailov said.
Head of the Government stressed the importance of expanding the List of joint Kazakhstan-China projects in the field of industrialization and investment, signing the Roadmap for the implementation of the Program of trade and economic cooperation until 2026, as well as updating the Agreement on mutual inspection of import-export goods.
I am confident that the practical measures to be envisaged in these documents will allow expanding the range of supplied goods and will bring the trade partnership to a qualitatively new level," the Prime Minister said.
At the same time, Alikhan Smailov indicated Kazakhstan's interest in increasing trade turnover in agricultural products, increasing exports to China and realization of joint processing projects in the field of agro-industrial complex.
At the same time, he noted that the transit and transportation interaction is of particular importance. Today, about 85% of goods from China to Europe are transported through Kazakhstan. In this regard, the republic is taking active measures to increase the capacity of its infrastructure to fully cover the growing demand.
Prime Minister paid special attention to the issue of acceleration of customs processes. Thus, today the customs services of the two countries have reached an agreement to increase the capacity and working hours of automobile checkpoints on the border. In particular, the checkpoint "Nur Zholy - Khorgos" began to work in a round-the-clock mode, other automobile checkpoints have switched to a 12-hour 7-day operation mode.
Due to digitalization and automation of processes, the time of border crossing has been reduced. It is important to continue working in this direction," he said.
Alikhan Smailov also noted the importance of further increasing the number of flights between the countries and the realization of major projects in the energy sector. This includes expansion of the capacity of the Kazakhstan-China oil pipeline, modernization of the oil refinery in Shymkent, etc.
The Government of Kazakhstan is ready to develop full-scale and mutually beneficial cooperation with China in all directions," the Prime Minister emphasized.
In turn, Deputy Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Ding Xuexiang noted that this year has become very productive for Kazakhstan and China, and outlined the readiness of the PRC to increase cooperation in all mutually beneficial areas.
China and Kazakhstan are close neighbors, true friends and partners. At present, both countries are at a key stage of their development and revival. Against the backdrop of unprecedented changes, China and Kazakhstan are facing more complex challenges. Therefore, in the spirit of cooperation, we should strengthen mutual support on all key issues. The Chinese side will continue to firmly support Kazakhstan and all efforts aimed at development and prosperity," Ding Xuexiang said.
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Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Murat Nurtleu took part in the Second Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), press service of the Kazakh MFA reports.
Murat Nurtleu spoke at the high-level session of the conference and drew the attention of the international audience to the harmful consequences that nuclear weapons testing and their use can lead to. He called for dialogue and expansion of confidence-building measures in order to strengthen global security.
The Kazakh diplomat also drew attention to the initiative of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev "World Unity for a Just Peace and Harmony." The initiative, announced by the Head of State in September this year at UN headquarters, proposes the promotion of "equal dialogue" based on the UN Charter, international law and mutual respect.
The head of the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Kazakhstan emphasized that Kazakhstan, together with Kiribati, has prepared proposals for the creation of an International Trust Fund to finance projects to help victims of nuclear tests and restore the environment.
Also during the visit, Minister Nurtleu held talks with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who highly appreciated the important role of Kazakhstan in the world, especially in the current geopolitical conditions, and emphasized the effective diplomacy of the Head of State.
The UN leadership noted our country’s leadership and initiatives in strengthening international security, especially in the field of nuclear disarmament, and thanked us for supporting the peacekeeping missions of the global Organization.
At a meeting with UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu, Kazakh initiatives on nuclear disarmament, strengthening the non-proliferation regime of weapons of mass destruction and expanding cooperation between nuclear-weapon-free zones were discussed. The interlocutors agreed to organize the next meeting of the participating countries of such nuclear-free zones in Kazakhstan in 2024.
Special attention was paid to the implementation of the initiative of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to create an International Biosafety Agency.
At a meeting with the Executive Director of ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) Melissa Park, the readiness to work together and support Kazakhstan’s disarmament initiatives was confirmed.
During the conference, the Kazakhstan delegation held two events dedicated to supporting victims of nuclear tests and restoring the environment.
With the cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and the UN Secretariat, participation in the conference was organized for citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan and representatives of the island states of the Pacific region affected by nuclear weapons tests.
At the Second Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW a political declaration will be adopted and Kazakhstan will assume a biennial Presidency.
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Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev received Vice Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Ding Xuexian, who arrived in Kazakhstan for an official visit, Kazinform Agency reports.
During the meeting, the sides debated the state and prospects for the development of the Kazakhstan-China strategic partnership and development by the governments of the agreements achieved by the Heads of State earlier.
The Head of State said Kazakhstan considers China as an important strategic partner and has great hopes for achieving certain results of cooperation in all spheres. In his words, Kazakhstan-China relations exemplify mutually beneficial, efficient interstate cooperation.
The Head of State reminded that the recent III Road and Belt Forum was successful and outlined the further way for the development of the large-scale initiative of China’s President Xin Jinping.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said Kazakhstan would further contribute to the development of this project.
As part of his visit to China, the Head of State held talks with President Xi Jinping. The high-level talks became an important stage in the way of deepening cooperation. Next year is declared the Year of Kazakhstan’s Tourism in China. The visa-free regime between the two nations entered into force.
Besides, the President said the 11th sitting of the Kazakhstan-China cooperation committee held today in Astana plays an important role in the development of joint actions in the trade and economic sphere.
Ding Xuexian conveyed greetings on behalf of China’s leader Xi Jinping to the Head of State.
The parties also debated issues of strengthening cooperation in trade, agriculture, investments, transport and logistics, energetics, etc., and noted the importance of widening cultural and humanitarian cooperation between the two states.
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Speaking at the meeting, the Head of State called the development of Aktau and Kuryk ports a strategic goal for Kazakhstan, Presidential press service reports.
Given the rich experience of AD Ports Group in the transport and logistics sector, the interlocutors discussed the prospects for mutually beneficial joint work in this area.
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev praised the cooperation between the national company KazMunayGas and AD Ports Group in transporting Kazakh oil through the Middle corridor to Azerbaijan.
The Kazakh leader also shared plans to unlock the potential of the North-South route, which connects Eurasia with the Gulf, Africa and India. In his opinion, by 2027, the route’s capacity is expected to increase at least by 70% from 9 to 15 million tons of cargo.
In this regard, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted with satisfaction the agreements between Kazakhstan Temir Zholy and AD Ports Group on the establishment of a joint venture and wished success in the implementation of these projects.
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Kazakh Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev attended the first Summit of the Heads of States members of the United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA), Presidential press service reports.
At the beginning of his address, the Head of State expressed gratitude to the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev for excellent organisation of the Summit, and welcomed the leaders of Central Asian countries and honoured guests of the event.
- Kazakhstan was the initiator of the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia in 1997, which has turned into an effective platform for expanding regional cooperation and facilitating our integration into global economic processes. Today’s meeting commemorates the 25th Anniversary of the Special Programme. Last year, under the Chairmanship of Kazakhstan, we strengthened key areas of the Programme and took important steps towards its practical implementation, - Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted.
According to him, the Republic of Azerbaijan makes a significant contribution to the development of SPECA and strengthening of cooperation between the regions of Central Asia and the Caucasus. The crowning achievement was today's historic first Summit of the Heads of State Parties of SPECA.
- I am confident that the meeting outcomes will pave the way for expanding our multifaceted cooperation based on the principles of openness, mutual respect and trust. Against the background of geopolitical fragmentation and abrupt global economic shifts, the importance of the Special Programme is becoming ever important. Based on our common interests, let me share my vision for the further development of SPECA. The principles of sustainable development have become the basis of the national strategies and programs of our countries. Today in Kazakhstan, 80% of the state budget is already synchronized with the sustainable development goals. Our government's top priority is to ensure universal access to quality education and healthcare. The new Social Code adopted this year has strengthened the protection of vulnerable categories of our citizens, - said the President.
The Kazakh leader noted that our country intends to continue working with the Programme to ensure an inclusive future where all citizens will benefit equally from social, technological and economic progress. Kazakhstan's initiative to establish the UN Regional Centre for Sustainable Development for Central Asia and Afghanistan in Almaty echoes these goals.
- Our countries have great opportunities to expand trade and mutually beneficial cooperation. Already today we see a steady growth of trade turnover between Kazakhstan and the SPECA Member States. Last year, the volume of mutual trade increased by a third and amounted to almost 10 billion dollars. I believe that we can double this figure in the foreseeable future. SPECA countries are able to supply each other with many goods at competitive prices and thus reduce imports from other countries. Kazakhstan is ready to increase export to SPECA countries by 175 additional non-commodity items, worth 2.3 billion dollars. The creation of "green" corridors and the removal of various trade barriers will boost our trade cooperation, including in such areas as construction, chemical, and food industries. We are also open for relevant proposals from our partners, - stressed the Head of State.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev believes that there is big potential for industrial cooperation within SPECA. In this regard, it looks promising to combine the knowledge and efforts of engineering companies in the development and production of innovative models of machinery and equipment for energy, transport and logistics, agriculture and water management. The President is confident that the implementation of large-scale manufacturing projects on a parity basis will strengthen the global competitiveness of the region's states.
- Kazakhstan tries to make a lot to ensure food security. Over the past five years, we have doubled the volume of agricultural products and now export them to more than 80 countries. We intend to work tirelessly with all SPECA Member States. Special attention should be paid to creating tools to stimulate investment cooperation among the SPECA countries. In this regard, the establishment of the SPECA Trust Fund under the UN auspices for economic development and integration is an important new step. Bearing in mind the importance of the Special Programme Kazakhstan is ready to make financial contribution to the Fund, - the Kazakh leader noted.
In his opinion, the SPECA region today plays a huge role in the development and diversification of international transport and transit routes. The Head of State believes that the countries have become a continental bridge between Europe and Asia.
- This is an immense advantage that we need to fully explore. In this context, we pin great hopes on the development of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route. I am confident that connecting the Middle Corridor with the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and the Global Gateway strategy will give a powerful multiplier effect to world trade. Moreover, Kazakhstan is ready for active cooperation in the development of the North-South corridor. Over the past 15 years, our country has invested more than 35 billion dollars in transport infrastructure. Over the next three years, we plan to build over 1,300 kilometers of railways. This will increase transportation capacity towards China, South Asia, Russia and Europe. I invite all partners to expand the capacity of the Caspian Sea ports, as well as to the joint production of transport vessels. We count on active technical and expert support from the UNECE and ESCAP, - emphasized Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
Along with this, cooperation in the field of ecology is of great importance. The leader of Kazakhstan considers it important to start joint research and applied work on environmental and climate issues, as well as management of transboundary water resources. According to him, the tragedy of the Aral Sea, the consequences of which are felt not only in the countries of the region, but also far beyond.
- Next year, as chair of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, Kazakhstan will focus on strengthening efforts to prevent environmental degradation of what was once one of the world's largest lakes. The environmental situation in the Caspian Sea is another great challenge, where we face shallowing, a sharp decrease in water flow, a reduction in biological resources and anthropogenic pollution. Saving the Caspian Sea should become a priority for long-term international cooperation. I call on all stakeholders to joint efforts and develop a common Action plan to improve the conditions of this unique regional water reservoir. Together we can turn the Caspian Sea into a sea of peace and new opportunities, - the President said.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that Kazakhstan has set a target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. He called on SPECA leaders to intensify joint efforts on the transition to alternative energy sources and to support Kazakhstan's initiative to establish a Central Asia Climate Project Office in Almaty.
- Cooperation in the field of digital technologies and artificial intelligence also opens up broad prospects. The rapid development of AI poses urgent challenges for us to transform production, the labor market and the service sector. In our country, more than 90% of government services are provided electronically, and the share of non-cash transactions now exceeds 80%. The volume of exports from the IT industry increased fivefold last year alone. We intend to increase this figure to one billion dollars by 2026, - the Head of State stressed.
The leader of Kazakhstan noted that Astana supports the process of institutionalisation of SPECA, aimed to fully unleash its potential for the effective promotion of multifaceted trade, economic and investment cooperation among the countries of the region.
- Moreover, we would welcome new SPECA participants - representatives of partnering states and UN institutions. I propose our governments to create a special SPECA Working Group. In addition, I propose to hold a special SPECA panel session on the sidelines of the next Astana International Forum, to be held in June 2024. This high-level event is designed to unite the efforts of the world community to find consolidated responses to the unprecedented challenges of our time. I also would like to propose Kazakhstan as a venue of one of the next SPECA summits at a time of mutual convenience, - said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
At the end of his address, the President expressed confidence that today's Summit will make it possible to work out concrete mechanisms to increase the effectiveness of the Special Programme and further strengthen friendship and strategic partnership between the countries.
The Summit was addressed by Ilham Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan, Sadyr Zhaparov, the President of Kyrgyzstan, Emomali Rahmon, the President of Tajikistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the President of Uzbekistan, Irakli Garibashvili, the Prime Minister of Georgia Viktor Orban, the Prime Minister of Hungary, Khojamurad Geldimuradov, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan, Tatiana Molchan, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and Jasem AlBudaiwi, Secretary General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.
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During the meeting, the Minister of Trade and Integration of Kazakhstan Arman Shakkaliev noted that Turkey is among the top five major trading partners of Kazakhstan. Trade turnover between the countries for January-September 2023 was $4.4bn, press service of the Ministry of Trade and Integration reports.
Today Turkey is one of the most prioritised trade, economic and investment partners of Kazakhstan. More than 3,800 companies (3,835) with Turkish capital operate in Kazakhstan, which is the second highest among foreign countries. The volume of direct investments from Turkey to Kazakhstan over the past 17 years totalled $4.6 billion", - the Minister said.
Kazakhstan has a great potential to export processed products with high added value of more than $796 million. Experts from the two countries are currently holding consultations on the conclusion of an agreement on trade in services.
In turn, Kapuju Mustafa noted that Turkey was one of the first countries to recognise the independence of Kazakhstan and relations between the two countries in the historical and cultural sphere are also very important.
When last meeting in Astana at the 10th summit of the Organisation of Turkic States, the presidents of our countries agreed to increase trade between Kazakhstan and Turkey to $15 billion", - Kapuju Mustafa said.
In addition, according to the Ambassador, 3.7 Turkish companies operate in Kazakhstan, as well as the volume of direct investments of Turkey in Kazakhstan is 4.6 billion dollars. Turkey is among the top 5 countries investing in Kazakhstan, and is ready to continue cooperation.
At the end of the meeting, the 39th meeting of the Standing Committee on Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to be held on 4-5 December this year in Istanbul was discussed. The sides agreed to continue discussing further proposals for co-operation within the framework of the 39th COMCEC meeting.
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