News Digest: Foreign Media on Kazakhstan’s Role in Global Arena, Syrian Talks, Wildfires in Abai Region and More

ASTANA – The Astana Times has picked a selection of articles on Kazakhstan published in international media across the world. This week’s foreign media digest includes articles on the wildfires in the Abai Region, Kazakhstan’s role in the international arena, partnership with the European Union (EU) on food security, the country’s proposal to end the Astana Process on Syria, Azerbaijan’s plans to develop cooperation in the green economy and a visit of Germany’s President to the country.

Astana. Photo credit: Shutterstock.

Who Is Responsible for the Fires in Kazakhstan?

The Diplomat, an international online news magazine covering politics, society, and culture in Asia and around the world, published an article on June 23 about the wildfires in Kazakhstan’s Abai Region.

The Prosecutor General announced it would conduct a criminal investigation into the fire’s causes as President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev dismissed several government officials.

“The regional governors are responsible to the extent that the fires happened within their jurisdictions, but oversight of forestry and emergency response is officially controlled at the national level. Tokayev criticized cabinet-level officials in very different registers.  On June 10, he promptly fired the Minister of Emergency Situations Yuri Ilyin, who had held the post since 2020,” reads the article.

Kazakhstan and the world’s big powers: A return to the “Great Game”?

EU Reporter, a Brussels-based European news platform, published an article by Harun Karčić on June 21 about Kazakhstan’s increasing role in the global arena.

With a gradually evolving economy from a Soviet-command-style to a more Western-style market, Kazakhstan is attracting investors, developing new industries and gaining new trade partners. Being a major crude oil and gas exporter, the country’s biggest potential lies in mineral reserves, including uranium, iron ore, chromium, manganese and gold.

“On the economic front, the country did make significant progress in many domains since the dissolution of the USSR, not to mention being ranked 25th in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, well ahead of other states in its neighborhood,” the article reads.

Food security – a new driver of cooperation between Kazakhstan and EU

Euractiv, a Brussels-based online media resource covering the EU, released an article by Kazakh Minister of Agriculture Yerbol Karashukeyev on June 20.

“With a natural agricultural potential, sound investment climate and unprecedented state measures, Kazakhstan can become a reliable partner of the EU in enhancing regional and global food security,” wrote Karashukeyev.

The minister writes that global food security can be better addressed with new so-called middle power partners in the agriculture, transportation and energy sectors. He assured Kazakh companies and farmers are ready to respond to the growing international demand.

Kazakhstan decides to stop hosting Syria talks, surprising Russia

Al Jazeera, an international 24-hour English-language news channel, reported on June 21 Kazakhstan’s decision to stop hosting talks aimed at resolving the Syrian conflict that erupted 12 years ago.

Kazakh Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Aibek Smadiyarov said the Astana talks had fulfilled their mission, citing Syria’s recent return to the Arab League and the efforts to restore ties with Türkiye.

Türkiye, Russia, and Iran stated that the latest round of talks in Astana on the progress in preparing the plan for restoring relations between Türkiye and Syria was constructive. However, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry’s move was not expected.

Energy supply giants Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan mull green economy options

NE Global Media, which covers geopolitical, security, economic, energy and scientific affairs, released an interview with Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov on June 19, who spoke about the green economy opportunities between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

With a well-established cooperation in the export of fossil fuels, Shahbazov invited Kazakh companies to participate in green energy projects in Azerbaijan.

“Kazakhstan and we in Azerbaijan are trying to provide for the domestic demand and then there will be the issue of maybe working together also for the renewable energy sources energy exports,” he said.

“We are your partners”

Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, a weekly German-language newspaper, published an interview with Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on June 20, following his visit to Kazakhstan aiming at the development of bilateral cooperation in the political, economic and scientific fields.

Steinmeier stressed that the reforms initiated by Tokayev show that the country is on the right track.

“There is a vivid exchange between our countries, not least due to the numerous minorities in each of our states. Kazakhstan is our most important economic partner in the region,” he said.

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