External News in Brief

One of the biggest mosques in Asia has been built in Shymkent, Kazakhstan, the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation (KZHF) announced.The Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Mosque, which can accommodate 6,000 worshippers, was inaugurated by Dr. Hadef Bin Jua’an Al Daheri, minister of justice, as a cluster of projects funded by the foundation. The mosque is situated on a total area of 8,000 square metres. It includes a separate prayer area for women and a parking area for nearly 120 vehicles, the foundation reported. “Estimated at 45 million dirham, the mosque’s construction was completed in a period of three years,” Al Daheri said. “The mosque serves worshippers in Shymkent and its design is based on the Islamic architectural style. It aims to provide a suitable place for worship and serves as a centre for cultural enlightenment for Muslims in Kazakhstan as well as a large public library, which includes copies of the Quran and several cultural and Islamic books,” he added. Additionally, about 15 million dirham ($4.08 million) has been donated by the KZHF to complete the construction of two clinics and a nursery in Shymkent.

A group of Kazakhstan citizens plans to send an open letter to U.S. President Barack Obama concerning the detention of two Kazakhstan students following the bombing attack in Boston. “We the undersigned citizens of Kazakhstan offer our deep condolences to the American people who suffered from the tragic actions that took place on April 15 in Boston during the traditional marathon, when a bomb explosion caused the deaths of three people and injuries to 260 people,” the letter says. The 65 citizens who signed the letter said they all were against any kind of extremism and never supported terrorism. “We are citizens of a state desiring and supporting peace, friendship and cooperation,” the letter says. “We demand unbiased and just legal proceedings concerning the two citizens of Kazakhstan. These rights are set in all international documents including the U.N. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified by the U.S. We are seeking the implementation of international human rights commitments by the U.S. Government.” According to the letter, U.S. mass media outlets are releasing biased information concerning the case of the Kazakhstan students. “That is why we request that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Attorney General provide official explanations on this case. We ask for the observation of human rights and the provision of proper legal assistance,” the Kazakhstan citizens wrote.

Consul General of Kazakhstan Askhat Nuskabay has met with Prime Minister of Tatarstan Ildar Halikov in Kazanwho congratulated the Kazakhstan diplomat on the establishment of the Consulate General of Kazakhstan and his new appointment. During the meeting, the parties discussed the current status and future directions of bilateral trade and economic cooperation, noting the enhancement of and increase in mutual visits of official delegations and representatives of the business community. They also touched on issues of regional cooperation, and the prospects of the work of the consulate of Kazakhstan in Kazan.

On June 6, Minister of Justice of the Czech Republic Pavel Blazek and Prosecutor General of the Czech Republic Pavel Zeman paid a visit to Kazakhstan. The main result of the visit was the signing of an agreement between Kazakhstan and the Czech Republic on mutual assistance in criminal matters. This document will allow Kazakhstan and Czech law-enforcement agencies to render active legal assistance to each other, including assistance in criminal prosecution. Both sides emphasised that the signing of this document will allow relations between the two countries in this sphere to reach a new level and create an impetus for further expansion and strengthening of the contractual and legal base. Prosecutor General Askhat Daulbayev noted that international cooperation is considered by Kazakhstan to be an important instrument for ensuring transnational security, and the signing of this interstate agreement is a significant step toward further development of the existing productive relations. The sides focused on issues such as countering money laundering activities and deepening cooperation, especially in the exchange of experience in fighting organised crime. The same day, Prosecutor General Daulbayev met with the deputy attorney general of Slovakia. As a result of the meeting, a memorandum on mutual understanding was signed and the sides reached an agreement on beginning the process of approval and conclusion of an interstate agreement on mutual assistance in criminal matters.