ASTANA – President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced on Oct. 22 that next year Kazakhstan will celebrate the 550th anniversary of Kazakh statehood.
“In 1465, [Kazakh khans] Kerey and Janybek created the first khanate and it is to that time that [Kazakh statehood traces its roots]. Perhaps, it was not a state in the modern sense of this term, within the present borders, and without fame and prestige in the world. But these words can be said about all of the other states of that era. The important element is that the foundation was laid, and we are the followers of the great deeds of our ancestors,” said Nazarbayev.
President Nazarbayev’s remarks came during a meeting in which he introduced newly appointed Astana Akim (Mayor) Adilbek Dzhaksybekov to Astana’s city administration and made other statements. [Dzhaksybekov, who had served as Astana’s mayor in 1997-2003, replaced Imangali Tasmagambetov who was appointed Kazakhstan’s Minister of Defence earlier on the same day.]
The head of state stressed Kazakhstan preserves the traditions of centuries-old friendships and peaceful coexistence with neighbouring states.
“Certain persons are apt to rename everything and name the streets and institutions in one language. This should be stopped. I want to say it again: do not manifest patriotic zeal where it is not required. The Constitution clearly spells out all the rules relating to the rights of ethnic groups and languages. It is our advantage, our hallmark in the world as a stable multi-ethnic state,” said Nazarbayev alluding to the need to preserve an interethnic harmony, a hallmark of Kazakhstan over the years of independence, in a society consisting of more than 130 ethnic groups.
He added that no one should feel discriminated against in any situation; where one person is discriminated against, the whole Kazakhstan is affected.
According to the President, Kazakhstan has achieved great progress and international standing since independence, which was apparent during his recent visits to Brussels and Milan.
“The signing of the documents on completion of the negotiations on the draft agreement on enhanced partnership and cooperation with the EU, also of bilateral negotiations with the EU in the framework of Kazakhstan’s accession to the WTO, point to the European Union’s trust in our country,” he said.
“Kazakhstan was the only nation in the Central Asian region invited to the summit of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Milan. I met with many state leaders. They view Kazakhstan as a state that serves as a good example of economic development, social stability, the population’s wellbeing, peace and stability,” the President said.
The head of state noted that today many countries face major challenges related to the world economy.
“Tit-for-tat sanctions between Russia and the European countries, as well as the situation in Ukraine contributed to growing instability. Russia is our strategic partner, the next door neighbour with whom we have close ties. If there is a worsening situation in the Russian economy, it indirectly influences us,” said Nazarbayev, adding that the government actively works to counteract these trends.
“The government proposed to revise the budget of this year, because decrease of prices for oil and metals, as well as other items of Kazakhstan’s exports, lead to a reduction of income. However, all wages and social payments should be provided at the existing level,” said Nazarbayev.
He also told administrators that a large infrastructure development programme will be announced soon, saying there is a need to build many high-quality roads from the capital to all regions of the country. The new road construction will provide jobs and new contracts to construction companies.
The President also noted that EXPO 2017-related construction has started on a centre of culture and science, as well as new areas for leisure, trade and scientific research. He also said that other important projects are in the works, such as the Abu Dhabi Plaza multifunctional complex, new hotels, sports facilities, health care facilities, a botanical garden, a new railway station and a high-speed bus transport system.