FM Idrissov, UN Representative Jenča Discuss Regional Security, Cooperation on Afghanistan

Afghanistan

The situation in Afghanistan remains volatile as the international forces proceed with their gradual withdrawal and the presidential election on April is approaching. Internal political reconciliation and coordinated assistance by the international community will be critical for preventing further deterioration and helping maintain a tentative, and still uncertain, course towards peace.
Photo provided by Erlan Karin

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov met with Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the Ashgabat-based United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia Miroslav Jenča on Feb. 10.

The diplomats discussed problems of regional security, the rational use of water and energy resources, as well as the cooperation of the UN Centre for Preventive Diplomacy with Central Asian states.

Idrissov noted Kazakhstan strongly supports the Joint Plan of Action for the Implementation of the UN Global Counter-terrorism Strategy in Central Asia. He also emphasised that cooperation with Central Asian states is a foreign policy priority of Kazakhstan.

During the meeting, the counterparts also discussed reconciliation in and the rehabilitation of Afghanistan.

“Kazakhstan makes vast contributions to international efforts aimed at stabilising Afghanistan and provides humanitarian assistance on an annual basis, including food and fuel. Training for young Afghans in Kazakhstan’s universities is also provided,” Idrissov said.

According to the country’s Foreign Ministry, Kazakhstan, as an active regional player, is making its own contribution to the development of Afghanistan, internally and outside of its borders. Kazakhstan also provides substantial economic and humanitarian assistance.

Besides food and fuel supplies, as well as an educational programme for 1,000 young Afghans, the Kazakh government has been implementing other initiatives aimed at Afghanistan’s recovery.

Taking into account the importance of regional cooperation in Afghan stabilisation, Kazakhstan advocates constructive and responsible partnership in the global efforts to rehabilitate that country, including those prescribed by the Istanbul process. As an active participant in this process, Kazakhstan hosted its third Ministerial Meeting in Almaty in April 2013, at which six plans for confidence-building measures were adopted.

With the aim of supporting the international community’s joint efforts in resolving Afghan issues, Kazakhstan has already offered initiatives such as the creation of a regional UN office in Almaty. It will focus on sustainable economic development in the region, including humanitarian and economic assistance to Afghanistan.

Kazakhstan has also been working on setting up transit facilities to store humanitarian aid destined for Afghanistan. The Almaty administration has already allocated required buildings and territories. According to officials, this will help provide targeted assistance to Afghanistan and its vital needs and will encourage a constant supply of food aid, as well as promote effective technical assistance planning.

Broadening regional economic cooperation and increasing Afghan involvement in transportation, logistics and other projects in Central Asia are important to Afghanistan’s reconstruction.

In this context, Kazakhstan supports regional and international initiatives to expand the region’s transportation infrastructure. Kazakhstan has completed its part of the railroad that will connect Afghanistan to other countries in the region. The Kazakh government hopes that Turkmen and Afghan partners will promptly complete their segments of the route.

Kazakhstan has also been contributing to the international transit corridor “Western Europe – Western China” that is expected to significantly increase trade turnover between Europe, China and Central Asia.

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