CIS Council of Foreign Ministers Address Border Security, Disaster Prevention

BISHKEK – Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov took part in a meeting of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek on April 3.

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The agenda of the meeting included fifteen issues related to increasing cooperation within the CIS. At the initiative of the Kazakh delegation, the foreign ministers of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan adopted a joint statement devoted to the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). In the document, they stressed the commitment to the basic printiples of the Helsinki Act and readiness to work towards the achievement of a goal, reinforced in the 2010 Astana Declaration, of building a common and undivided community of security in the OSCE space.

During the meeting, participants approved a plan for multi-level ministerial consultations to be held in 2015. Ministerial consultations are held in order to coordinate the actions of the organisation in international organisations and in the joint promotion of foreign policy initiatives.

Following the talks, the participants approved a list of draft documents, including a cooperation programme between CIS member states on strengthening border security at external borders for 2016-2020, an agreementon disaster prevention and responseand an agreement on a unified registration system for third country nationals and stateless persons.

“We note a huge potential for the development of CIS,” Idrissov said at the press conference after the meeting. “Continuity is the main priority of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the CIS in 2015. Together we are taking great efforts to increase cooperation in trade, economic, humanitarian and other spheres.”As Idrissov noted, this year has quite a few landmarks for the CIS countries, primarily in connection with the celebration of the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. According to him, the heads of the CIS countries are planning to participate in the festivities in Moscow, including in the informal meeting of the CIS heads of state on May 8 and the celebratory parade on May 9.

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Also, Idrissov also reported that in the framework of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the CIS, a regular meeting of the Council of CIS heads of government will take place on May 29 in Borovoe near Astana. He also informed that the summit of the heads of state will take place in Astana in October, where a special declaration on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the UN, which is going to be celebrated on Oct. 24, will be approved.

In Bishkek, Idrissov also met with his Kyrgyz counterpart Erlan Abdyldaev. The parties discussed the successful state visit of Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev to Astana on November 7 and the implementation of the reached agreements.

As the result of Atambayev’s visit and the fourth session of the Supreme Interstate Council of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, a number of decisions such as an action plan on cooperation between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic, the development of economic cooperation between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in terms of Eurasian integration, as well as cooperation in the field of energy were taken.

Idrissov and Abdyldaev noted that the sixth session of the Kazakh-Kyrgyz Intergovernmental Council will take place this year in Bishkek. Despite negative trends in the global economy, in the past two years trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan consistently exceeded $1 billion.

Speaking about the situation in the region’s water and energy sector, Kazakhstan’s foreign minister noted the need to strengthen the role and importance of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, restructuring the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination and the Syrdarya and Amudarya Water Basin Associations, as well as the creation of a viable and transparent exchange system in the region.

In this regard, Idrissov proposed the creation of a Central Asian water investment fund and to jointly develop and sign a new five-party document regulating water relations based on international law.