External news in brief

Kazakhstan’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations hosted a roundtable Dec. 5 on the country’s experience in repatriating its citizens from conflict zones and their reintegration into society, reported the MFA press service. The event gathered nearly 130 UN member state, international non-governmental organisation and UN specialised agency representatives. Kazakhstan returned 595 of its citizens from Syria, including 400 children, from January-June through the Jusan (Bitter Wormwood) operation and recently returned 14 children from Iraq. “Jusan operation is more than a humanitarian mission, but an internationally recognised counterterrorism strategy. We prevent further radicalisation of citizens through their rehabilitation and reintegration,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Yerzhan Ashikbayev, addressing the gathering. He thanked the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), International Committee of the Red Cross and American and Iraqi officials for their contributions to the operation. Specialised psychologists and theologists continue to work with the returned citizens.

Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways and Malaysian Air Asia X will start flying to Kazakhstan in 2020 as part of the country’s open skies regime launched Nov. l at its 11 airports, reported the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development press service. Negotiations were held during the twelfth International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Air Services Negotiation Event (ICAN 2019), the world’s premier platform to build partnerships and conduct air services negotiations, hosted Dec. 2-6 in Aqaba, Jordan. Jazeera Airways will launch its first flight this summer as part of the agreement between Kazakh and Kuwaiti aviation officials. Both countries’ airlines will operate 14 flights per week and an unlimited number of cargo flights with fifth freedom rights. Air Asia X will start flying to Kazakhstan in the second quarter. The open skies regime covers airports in Aktau, Almaty, Karaganda, Kokshetau, Nur-Sultan, Pavlodar, Petropavlovsk, Semei, Shymkent, Taraz, and Ust-Kamenogorsk without frequency restrictions and with fifth freedom rights. The authorities have also announced that Austrian and Kazakh airlines are given opportunities to increase the number of regular flights to 21 per week (currently, there are no such flights).

Kazakhstan participated in the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Ministerial Council Dec. 5-6 in Bratislava, Slovakia, reported the MFA press service. The meeting gathered foreign ministers and senior diplomats from the 57 OSCE participating states to review the organisation’s activities and bolster dialogue on security issues in the OSCE area. The Kazakh delegation was headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko, who in his remarks noted the relevance of ideas and principles written in the organisation’s Astana Declaration adopted in 2010 at the OSCE summit in the Kazakh capital. He emphasised the importance of an inclusive dialogue and coordinated actions of OSCE participating states to react and prevent conflict situations. Attendees were also briefed on Kazakhstan’s initiatives to support Afghanistan, including the October roundtable in Nur-Sultan organised by the Kazakh Foreign Ministry, the Slovak chairmanship of the OSCE and the OSCE Secretariat.

Astana Opera principal dancer Aigerim Beketayeva received the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Commonwealth of Debuts international youth award Dec. 9 in Brest, Belarus, a CIS 2019 Culture Capital. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia and Tajikistan nominated 26 individuals and the international jury selected eight winners, whose achievements have provided a significant contribution to developing and promoting different arts. The award was established in 2008 by the CIS Council for Humanitarian Cooperation and Interstate Humanitarian Cooperation Fund. During the ceremony, Shymkent was given CIS 2020 Culture Capital status.


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