Defence ministers of Kazakhstan and Israel signed a security cooperation agreement on Jan. 20 in Tel Aviv. The agreement formalises military and defence industry ties between the two nations.
During the meeting, Kazakhstan Defence Minister Adilbek Dzhaksybekov and his Israeli counterpart Moshe Ya’alon discussed current relations and future defence cooperation between the two governments.
Since Israel and Kazakhstan established diplomatic relations in 1992, the two countries have signed multiple cooperation agreements in the spheres of telecommunications, science and technology, among others.
“Kazakhstan has actively cultivated diplomatic relations with Israel starting from the time Kazakhstan obtained its independence. The Defence Ministry of Kazakhstan is interested in further developing military and military-technical cooperation with Israel, areas which are now seeing a notable rise in activity,” Dzhaksybekov said.
Ya’alon noted that the visit, Dzhaksybekov’s first to Israel, will enhance further cooperation between the defence bodies of the two countries.
Both parties agreed that the agreement on military-technical cooperation will create new dynamics in defence collaboration. “Israel is known worldwide for its capabilities,” Dzhaksybekov said. “I hope this visit will mark a milestone for strengthened defence cooperation between our countries.”
He added that Kazakhstan is interested in developing its military forces and for this reason is interested in studying the military experience of the Israeli army.
In order to cultivate practical contacts between the countries’ special forces, Dzhaksybekov invited representatives of the Israeli Army to participate in the Altyn Uky international sniper contest, which will take place in Spassk, Kazakhstan, on July 14-19.
Regarding military equipment, both sides agreed to cooperate in unmanned systems, border security, command-and-control capabilities and satellite communications.
During the official visit to Israel, the Kazakhstan delegation visited a range of leading producers of military equipment, including Israel Military Industries (IMI), Elbit Systems and Rafael. These companies deal with the production and modernisation of military equipment and the development of space surveillance satellites and rocket weapons.
In order to strengthen military-technical relations, Dzhaksybekov invited Israeli companies to participate in the KADEX-2104 international exhibition of weapons systems and military equipment to be held in Astana in May.
In Jerusalem on Jan. 20, Dzhaksybekov was also received by President of Israel Shimon Peres.
During the meeting, Peres noted that over many years the relations between Israel and Kazakhstan have been growing and noted that Kazakhstan, thanks to the balanced foreign and domestic policies of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, has become one of the dynamically developing countries in Central Asia. The Israeli President expressed readiness to cooperate in the area of high technologies, and, turning to military cooperation, proposed holding joint exercises on Kazakhstan’s firing ranges and facilities.
In turn, Dzhaksybekov noted that Kazakhstan attaches special importance to expanding investment and technical cooperation with Israel in military industries.
“Today, professionalization is the defining trend of development of Kazakhstan’s Armed Forces. In modern circumstances, forms and methods of war have changed, while weapons and military equipment used require highly qualified specialists,” Dzhaksybekov told Peres as reported by Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Defence. “In this context we attach special significance to the possibility of studying the experience of combat training of the Israeli Defence Forces.”
To help promote ties further, Astana dispatched a military attaché to its embassy in Israel last year.