ASTANA – Escalating conflict and tit-for-tat sanctions are a road to nowhere, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said referring to the expanding standoff between the West and Russia over Ukraine as he received credentials from six newly appointed ambassadors in the Akorda presidential residence on Aug. 12.
“The ongoing conflict in Ukraine [and] the destabilisation of the situation in the Middle East and other regions of the world are consequences of the global crisis that have spread beyond the economic and financial spheres,” Nazarbayev stressed in his remarks at the ceremony. “In these challenging times, it is of utmost importance that further escalation of the conflict and toughening of sanctions against each other should be prevented. This is a road to nowhere. Finding areas of common ground and negotiating is the only option. Kazakhstan continues to be committed to this option and is doing its best to influence the situation. The main thing is not to stop looking for peaceful means of conflict resolution.”
The ambassadors presenting their credentials were Hidayat Abdul Hamid of Malaysia, Jaan Reinhold of Estonia, Abdurahman al-Salim Sueyti of Libya, Mojtaba Damirchilu of Iran, Nazirmad Alizoda of Tajikistan and Sean Perry Style of Canada.
The President congratulated the envoys on their appointments, expressing confidence that the active work of diplomats will contribute to the further development of comprehensive and mutually beneficial cooperation between the countries.
“Kazakhstan is opening a new page in its history. The Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy envisages new development priorities and includes an important and large-scale task: joining the top 30 most-developed economies of the world. The strategy is aimed at strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation with all foreign partners of our country,” Nazarbayev said.
Kazakhstan’s dynamic economic growth, along with the second five-year programme of accelerated industrial and innovative development, is laying the foundation for more effective partnerships, he noted.
“Kazakhstan opens up broad prospects for foreign partners and has been consistently improving its economic conditions. Favourable economic indicators, international reserves totalling more than $100 billion, stable legislation and political stability in the country form the basis for steady and confident work by investors. It is with this aim in mind that we have created a compact government and improved the efficiency of management and the business environment,” he said.
President Nazarbayev underscored the country’s unique environment for investors.
“There are low taxes, preferences, as well as stable relations between the government and investors. We have also declared a unilateral visa-free regime for the citizens of the countries that showed the highest investment activity. In the future, the list will expand rapidly,” he noted.
Nazarbayev stressed that the development of renewable energy sources and green technologies is a very important goal for Kazakhstan. He reminded the ambassadors that Astana will host EXPO 2017 international specialised exhibition on the subject of Future Energy and invited them to take an active part in the preparation and work of the exhibition.
The President stressed that Kazakhstan considers Tajikistan an important partner in Central Asia.
“Today, Kazakhstan’s investments in Tajikistan’s economy have exceeded $125 million. There are about 40 enterprises working in Tajikistan which are invested in by Kazakhstan. Despite this, it is necessary to increase the volume of bilateral trade and expand the scope of cooperation. We are interested in the implementation of bilateral projects in agricultural products, construction, light industry and the food industry,” Nazarbayev said. He noted that political and economic ties between Kazakhstan and Iran have been gaining strength from year to year.
“The commissioning of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway is ample evidence of that. Our work in this field will provide an impetus to trade and economic cooperation in the region. The early resolution of the situation regarding the Iranian nuclear programme is important for stability in the region. We have contributed to this process, having held two rounds of talks between the six powers and Iran in Almaty. We believe a long-term agreement serving the interests of all parties will be achieved in the nearest future. Next month we are expecting President Hassan Rouhani to officially visit Kazakhstan for the first time. The visit will provide an opportunity to push bilateral ties to a new level,” he said.
President Nazarbayev noted that relations between Kazakhstan and Malaysia were steadily developing in multiple directions.
“Malaysia is our political and trade partner not only in Southeast Asia, but in the Muslim world as well. The recent official visit of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak helped promote our economic cooperation. Following the visit, agreements totalling more than $1 billion were reached,” he said. Nazarbayev further emphasised that the development of comprehensive cooperation with Canada is important for Kazakhstan.
“About 170 companies and 40 missions with Canadian investment are currently working in Kazakhstan in the fields of mining, agriculture, construction and education. We are also committed to the implementation of joint projects, especially in the nuclear industry,” he noted.
Nazarbayev said Estonia is an important political and economic partner of Kazakhstan in the Baltic region.
“Our countries should continue to develop further cooperation, including in the fields of ecology, energy, high technology and transportation,” he said.
The President spoke about the intention to establish close cooperation with Libya, which is regarded as a promising partner in the Arab world.
“Kazakhstan and Libya have great potential for cooperation in the oil and gas industry, energy and agriculture. We are very hopeful that the political situation in Libya will stabilise in the nearest future,” Nazarbayev said.
The President stressed that Kazakhstan is ready to address urgent regional and global issues.
“In this regard, Kazakhstan is bidding for a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2017-2018. We hope for your support of our initiative,” he said.
At the end of the ceremony, Nazarbayev wished the ambassadors every success with the work ahead of them and fruitful diplomatic activity in Astana.
Addressing the media following the official ceremony, the new ambassadors expressed their readiness to deepen and strengthen cooperation with Kazakhstan.