ASTANA — President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev outlined key areas of cooperation, including in emergency management, during the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) Extraordinary Summit in Ankara on March 16, the Akorda press service reported.
According to President Tokayev, the first step is to join efforts to avert natural disasters, citing the earthquake in Türkiye as evidence of the need for constant disaster preparedness. He proposed establishing a mechanism on the basis of the Center for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction in Almaty, created by the governments of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in 2016, which would combine the joint forces of emergency agencies from OTS member states.
“I think it is necessary to elevate the combined forces to the level of the Organization’s Civil Protection Secretariat, which will coordinate efforts to assist countries affected by natural disasters. This structure will also organize international events, including training for rescuers,” he noted.
The second priority for the OTS, according to Tokayev, is to improve the preparedness of search and rescue services. He offered to compile a list of all rescue troops and technical equipment in OTS countries, which would enable prompt response to critical situations and coordination of efforts to mitigate the effects of natural disasters.
Tokayev urged OTS member countries’ rescue agencies to participate in an international training session in Kazakhstan this autumn, citing the exchange of information and experience as the next critical point. He proposed holding the first conference of officials responsible for this area.
The President also invited all representatives of the OTS countries to participate in a volunteer forum in Astana this year, reiterating the importance of helping each other in tragic disasters, as was the case in Türkiye.
“Kazakhstan is prepared to build a social facility in the disaster zone,” he announced.
Tokayev welcomed European partners’ plan to convene an International Donors’ Conference, saying that Turkic countries will participate in implementing such initiatives.
President Tokayev also underlined the imperative need to strengthen the cooperation of the Turkic world amid the complex geopolitical and economic situation. The OTS has demonstrated its rightful status in the global arena, according to Tokayev. The OTS countries must raise the level of political, economic, and cultural engagement. This is one of Kazakhstan’s top foreign policy priorities, he noted.
“I invite you to attend the 10th-anniversary summit of the OTS planned for October in the sacred city of Turkistan. Kazakhstan will also take over the OTS chairmanship this autumn. We plan to host several significant events during our chairmanship,” Tokayev said.
The Kazakh leader wished President Erdoğan successful presidential and parliamentary elections, saying that the world community’s broad support and help to the Turkish people is the outcome of his high authority and selfless dedication to the benefit of his country.
“Türkiye is celebrating its centennial this year. This is a significant historical event. Türkiye has emerged as a truly powerful, influential, and authoritative state in the international arena in a relatively short time. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan deserves a lot of credit for this. The entire world community recognizes this,” Tokayev said.
The President of Kazakhstan congratulated the summit attendees on the upcoming Nauryz holiday and extended heartfelt wishes on the eve of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
The OTS heads of state signed the Ankara Declaration of the OTS Extraordinary Summit, a decision on establishing the OTS Civil Protection Mechanism, and an agreement on creating the Turkic Investment Fund.