OTTAWA – Kazakhstan’s Prosecutor General Askhat Daulbayev visited Canada on Dec. 4, seeking to promote wider cooperation between the two countries in legal matters.
In the Canadian capital, he met Speaker of the Canadian Senate Noel Kinsella, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander and Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General William Pentney, as well as other officials.
During a meeting in Ottawa’s historic Parliament building, Daulbayev and Kinsella welcomed the dialogue between Kazakhstan and Canada and highlighted the importance of increasing inter-parliamentary exchanges. As an important step in this direction, the two officials agreed to further promote cooperation between the standing legal affairs committees of the parliaments of Kazakhstan and Canada.
The Senate Speaker also invited Kazakh officials to send their senior parliamentary staff to take part in the Parliamentary Officers’ Study Programme at the Canadian Parliament. To deepen bilateral cooperation in the legal field, the sides also discussed opportunities to promote exchanges among students studying law and criminology. While in the Parliament, Daulbayev was also greeted in sessions of the Senate and the House of Commons.
The talks between Daulbayev and Alexander focused on issues of migration and the facilitation of travel. Kazakhstan and Canada are two of the world’s largest countries by landmass and, having relatively small populations, face similar challenges related to labour migration and immigration in general.
During their meeting, Daulbayev and Alexander noted that the exchange of best practices in this area can be instrumental in further promoting Kazakh-Canadian cooperation. As a growing number of officials, business people and students are now travelling between the two countries, Daulbayev and Alexander also discussed opportunities to facilitate people-to-people ties. The sides highlighted the importance of reviewing existing measures to improve the visa regime for increasing the number of mutual visitors. On a visit to Astana last month, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird promised to take up the matter of facilitating visas for Kazakhstan citizens wishing to travel to Canada with his colleagues.
Daulbayev also extended an invitation to Alexander to visit Kazakhstan in the near future, which was accepted.
At Daulbayev’s meeting with Pentney, the officials explored opportunities for broadening the bilateral relationship in the legal field. Possible areas of legal cooperation include combating terrorism, transnational organised crime, drug trafficking and cyberterrorism. The Kazakhstan delegation also expressed an interest in learning more about Canada’s experience in strengthening criminal justice and legislative reforms.
Officials agreed that further deepening cooperation between the legal authorities of the two countries and exchanging experience and experts will play an important role in broadening mutually beneficial cooperation. Another significant step in this direction will be the ratification of the bilateral Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matters between Kazakhstan and Canada, signed during the official visit of President Nursultan Nazarbayev to Canada in 2003.
While in Ottawa, Daulbayev also had a working lunch with Canada’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Daniel Jean. The parties welcomed the recent successful visit of Baird to Astana and the joint statement by Baird and Kazakhstan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov, which, among other issues, urged greater engagement in the legal sphere between Kazakhstan and Canada.
Daulbayev and Jean also discussed global security issues, including the situation in Afghanistan post-2014 and regional stability in Central Asia.
The visit capped off what has been a year of intensive bilateral exchanges and visits between Kazakhstan and Canada, reflecting the two capitals’ mutual desire to deepen cooperation across a wide spectrum, from nuclear energy to agriculture to legal matters and beyond.