ASTANA – Murat Nurtleu, the Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, participated in the Coordination Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and chaired an informal Council of Foreign Ministers of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Foreign Ministry’s press service reported on Sept. 22.
At the Coordination Meeting of the OIC Foreign Ministers, Nurtleu underscored the significance of advancing the peace process in the Middle East and stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan, noting Kazakhstan’s contribution to promoting ideals of tolerance and interfaith harmony through the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.
The minister also expressed Kazakhstan’s readiness to ensure global and regional security, harnessing the capabilities of CICA. He emphasized the need to use the OIC’s unique geographical advantages and strengthen multimodal transport links to boost the economies of OIC member countries.
Nurtleu mentioned Kazakhstan’s initiatives within the OIC, including its involvement in the Islamic Organization for Food Security, establishing the International Biosafety Agency, and creating the OIC-15 Dialogue Platform on science and technology.
At the informal Council of the CICA Foreign Ministers, the participants discussed the progress in implementing the decisions of the sixth CICA Summit, in Astana last October.
Nurtleu underlined the Astana Declaration’s importance in transforming the CICA into a full-fledged international organization and thanked member states for supporting this initiative.
Following a constructive dialogue on the future institutional development of the CICA and practical steps to implement confidence-building measures, the participants adopted the CICA Transformation Roadmap, issued a statement advocating volunteerism for the Sustainable Development Goals, and approved the appointment of a new CICA Deputy Secretary-General.
At the meeting with Péter Szijjártó, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Nurtleu announced Kazakhstan’s plans to boost its exports by 95 commodity items worth approximately $700 million.
He also focused on continuing the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship program, which provides Kazakh students with 250 educational grants annually to study at leading Hungarian universities.
Nurtleu also met with Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zbigniew Rau, and referenced an 80% increase in trade turnover to over $1.3 billion last year.
Nurtleu highlighted the importance of uninterrupted transport and logistics communications between Kazakhstan and Europe, and Rau expressed interest in jointly developing the Middle Corridor, following the European Union’s Global Gateway strategy.
At the meeting with Czech Republic’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Lipavský, Nurtleu proposed to train Kazakh engineering specialists in leading Czech educational institutions, while Lipavský announced an upcoming visit of the country’s Agriculture Minister to Astana to identify specific collaborative areas in the agro-industrial complex.
Trade turnover between Kazakhstan and the Czech Republic increased by 67% to $423 million in 2022. In the first seven months of this year, trade reached $326 million.
Nurtleu also met with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, and shared the goal of increasing mutual trade to $1 billion in the medium term.
At the meeting with Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alicia Bárcena Ibarra, Nurtleu emphasized the need to simplify the visa regime between the countries, welcoming plans to open Mexico’s embassy in Astana soon.
Despite the geographical distance, trade turnover surged by 328% to $355 million in the seven months of this year, compared to approximately $200 million in 2022.