In Memory of Bolatkhan Taizhan

Fourteen years have passed since the death of the statesman and public figure, well-known diplomat Bolatkhan Taizhan, who would have turned 80 on March 8, 2021. For family and relatives, close friends, colleagues in the diplomatic service, this memorable date is an occasion to once again remember and rightfully appreciate the contribution he made to the development of Kazakhstan during the Soviet period, as well as in the years of formation and strengthening of the national independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Bolatkhan Taizhan

Bolatkhan spent his childhood and first school years in one of the villages of the Pavlodar region. He was a successful boy who ended up graduating from his school in Almaty with a gold medal.

Bolatkhan Taizhan’s versatile interests and ability to quickly absorb knowledge were clear for all to see within the walls of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, from which he graduated in 1966 with a degree in international economics with knowledge of Arabic and English. 

The craving for scientific knowledge, accurate analysis of events and general trends, and the ability to give them his own assessment was brilliantly put on display later in his life. In 1970, he successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis as a Candidate of Economic Sciences at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Moscow. He successfully applied cutting-edge scientific techniques to his work as a junior researcher at the Institute of Economics of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR in 1970-1974.

Bolatkhan Taizhan began his career in the diplomatic field back in 1963 as an assistant at the USSR Consulate in Port Said. An international specialist, he successfully grew up the career ladder during Soviet times where he served as the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kazakh SSR, Vice Consul of the Consulate, Second Secretary of the USSR Embassy in the Yemen Arab Republic, Executive Secretary of the Presidium of the Kazakh Society for Friendship and Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, Deputy Head of the Foreign Department relations of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan, head of the protocol department, the press and information department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kazakh SSR, first secretary, consul general and the counselor of the USSR Embassy in the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen. 

In all these positions, he was distinguished by his dedication to his profession, his erudition and his ability to make hard, but correct decisions under pressure.

With the beginning of perestroika and the transition of the republic to a new format of foreign economic relations and diplomacy, his knowledge in the field of international economic relations was highly in demand. In 1990, he was made the Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Economic Relations of the Kazakh SSR.

Since the independence of Kazakhstan, Bolatkhan Taizhan began working as First Deputy Minister of Foreign Economic Relations of Kazakhstan, and then completely devoted himself to the diplomatic service: he was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Egypt and concurrently to Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Syria, Libya. 

In 1998, with his direct support and participation, a monument to the great poet Abai was opened in Cairo. The ties of Kazakhstan with the Arab world in the field of economics and politics have significantly strengthened and this was largely facilitated by the knowledge of the Ambassador of Kazakhstan Bolatkhan Taizhan of the features of this region and the intricacies of diplomacy in the conduct of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy.

From April 1996 to June 1999, he represented Kazakhstan in the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Bolatkhan Taizhan completed his diplomatic career, working from 1999 to 2001 as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Malaysia.

With his retirement, he took up active socio-political and publicist activities. He wrote more than 300 analytical materials in the Kazakh and Russian languages, which he, like Arabic and English, was fluent in. He left many manuscripts to posterity about politics, diplomacy, and the public life of Kazakhstan in the second half of the 20th and the first half of the 21st century.

A caring family man, loving husband and father, he raised worthy children – a son and a daughter, he has four grandchildren.

Bolatkhan Taizhan was an intelligent and responsive person who devoted his whole life to his native republic, its prosperity and its bright future. A patriot, a citizen, a scientist, a politician, an experienced diplomat – all these honored titles fully apply to him. We will carry on the memory of his worthy life in our hearts.

The author is a diplomacy veteran of the Republic of Kazakhstan

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