The terrible events in Aktobe on 5 June have once again demonstrated that no country – not even a society as stable as Kazakhstan – is immune from the threat of rogue religious extremists. The cowardly attack underlines how international cooperation and readiness to fight terrorism and extremism are more important than ever.
Encouraging this cooperation and providing countries with the capabilities to defend their citizens is a major part of the aim of KADEX, the international exhibition of weapons systems and military equipment that took place in Kazakhstan for the third time on June 2-5. The four-day event at the international airport in Astana showcased the latest military products and space technology and provided the opportunity for Kazakhstan to further develop ties with its international partners around the world.
More than 300 companies, including 200 foreign organisations from 40 countries, participated in the exhibition. Kazakhstan signed contracts with defence establishments from around the world and has launched talks on further developing the country’s defence sector.
Among the agreements reached were contracts signed by Kazakhstan Engineering Company with Ukraine and Belarus. KazTechnologies Company has agreed to supply ammunition to the UAE, the United Kingdom and Bulgaria. It also signed deals with the Chinese company Norinco Corporation and Turkish firm Diarsan.
At a national level, Kazakhstan signed a memorandum for the supply of a missile ship by the German Abeking & Rasmussen Company to the naval forces of Kazakhstan. An agreement on military technical cooperation was also signed with Pakistan.
During the exhibition, Kazakhstan demonstrated its military capabilities and how its own defence sector has grown and strengthened. Aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and tanks built in Kazakhstan were displayed for the event’s thousands of visitors.
Developing Kazakhstan’s military-industrial complex remains very important, especially at a time of economic challenges for the country and the region. The experiences of other developed countries have shown how the skills and technological know-how that flow from a strong defence industry are vital for a thriving and diversified economy.
It is pleasing to know that KADEX has helped Kazakhstan attract foreign investment and develop its defence industry. It is also reassuring to know that our country has partners around the world we can rely on and that are keen to cooperate with us on defence matters.
Kazakhstan is, of course, a peaceful nation. Since our independence, it has championed diplomatic solutions to global crises. Today, Kazakhstan continues to call upon the international community to work together to find solutions to the conflicts that have engulfed the Middle East and have had a destabilising effect all over the world. Kazakhstan continues to urge global leaders to give a greater priority to development needs rather than military spending.
However, the tragic and shocking events in Aktobe have shown that every country must be well prepared to defend itself against external and internal attacks. It is the duty of every government to protect its citizens and interests, which is why Kazakhstan has invested in a modern and professional Armed Forces. Kazakhstan’s military is more than capable of not only protecting the nation, but also participating in peace-keeping missions around the world.
KADEX this year has been vital for the development of Kazakhstan’s defence industry and for increasing cooperation with our partners. Our country must continue on this path.