News Digest: Foreign Media on Republic Day, Kazakh-EU Ties 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 Republic Day celebration, WHO Global Conference on Primary Health Care, and more.

Astana. Photo credit: Tripster.

Kazakhstan’s Republic Day

The U.S. Department of State released a press statement of Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Oct. 24 to congratulate Kazakhstan on Republic Day. 

“On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I send my warmest wishes to the people of Kazakhstan as they celebrate Republic Day on Oct. 25. As the people of Kazakhstan on this day commemorate their declaration of sovereignty, we reaffirm the United States’ commitment to Kazakhstan’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. We commend Kazakhstan’s steadfast leadership since independence in advancing global dialogue and efforts toward international peace and security. We note our continuing support for President [Kassym-Jomart] Tokayev’s reform agenda and recall our strong support for its full implementation to build public confidence in government, increase government accountability, and protect human rights,” the statement reads. 

Kazakhstan’s Journey from Soviet State to Global Partner

EU Political Report, a Brussels-based media outlet published an article on Oct. 25 on how many post-Soviet countries have shed their Soviet legacies to emerge as modern and progressive states. A case in point is Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s largest nation. The article points out that despite its Soviet heritage, Kazakhstan’s transformation into a free-market economy stands out as a noteworthy accomplishment. 

“Following its independence, the country embarked on extensive economic reforms, transitioning from a centrally planned system to one that champions market forces, competition, and private enterprise,” according to the author. 

The Hungarian capital celebrated Kazakhstan Republic Day

Daily News Hungary published an article on Oct. 26 reporting on the Republic Day celebrations in Budapest. 

“The State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Tibor Tóth spoke as an honorary guest of the event from the Hungarian side on behalf of the Hungarian Finance Minister Mihaly Varga, who is the co-chairman of three interstate structures of bilateral cooperation – the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation, the Parliamentary Friendship Group and the Strategic Council. On behalf of the Government of Hungary Tibor Tóth congratulated all Kazakhstan citizens on the significant event – Republic Day, noting the importance of strong friendship between our countries, which has stood the test of time. It should be noted that on Oct. 25, 1990 the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Kazakhstan was adopted. This was the first step of our country on the way to Independence. In 2022, by the Decree of the Head of State, October 25 is again included in the calendar as a National Holiday,” the article reads.

Astana marks Republic Day with grand celebrations 

Caspian News published an article on Oct. 26 reporting on the Republic Day celebrations in the Kazakh capital.

Kazakhstan marked Republic Day on Oct. 25 with an array of vibrant celebrations commemorating a pivotal moment in its history.

The capital city, Astana, played host to over 200 cultural, educational, sports, and social events, symbolizing the nation’s stride towards independence after over seven decades of Soviet rule.

The festivities, which began on Oct. 23, spanned three days featuring an eclectic mix of events, including concerts, car rallies, exhibitions, excursions for children to iconic sites, round tables, and national sports tournaments, among others.

“Today, Kazakhstan is home to more than 19 million people, uniting different ethnicities, including ethnic Kazakhs, which make up over 70% of the population. Russians, Uzbeks, Ukrainians, Tatars, Germans, Koreans, and Azerbaijanis are all present in the country, along with other minorities,” the article reads. 

Visa deal key to closer EU-Kazakh relations

EU Reporter released an article on Oct. 22 about Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko’s meeting with the European Union (EU) officials in Brussels.

“Vassilenko spoke of the impressive growth in business links between his country and the European Union. More than 3,000 EU companies now operate in Kazakhstan and trade was expected to double by 2025, in part because of the importance of an uninterrupted and safe supply chain of critical raw materials essential for the green transformation,” the article notes.

Energy remained a huge area of bilateral cooperation, with Kazakhstan providing 8% of the EU’s oil and 23% of its uranium. But the minister also stressed that the EU had “a truly strong soft power attraction to the people of Kazakhstan”, who want to travel to Europe more easily. Kazakhstan offers visa-free travel to EU citizens and a formal consultation on visa facilitation for Kazakhs visiting the EU is now underway. That is highly appreciated, as it is important to strengthen not just state-to-state but people-to-people connections, according to the article.

Kazakhstan’s Pioneering Approach to Primary Health Care: A Model for the World

Healthcare Guys, an American publication in the sphere of health, published an article on Oct. 27 by Kazakhstan’s Minister of Health, Azhar Giniyat.

She points out in the article that in recent years, Kazakhstan has taken significant steps to fortify its healthcare system, with primary health care (PHC) serving as its cornerstone. As the World Health Organization (WHO) frequently underscores, PHC is an essential component of the healthcare system. Consequently, we have dedicated considerable effort to advancing this sector through targeted measures and initiatives.

The Minister of Health concludes that “with the unwavering support of our dedicated health professionals, governmental bodies, and the international community, Kazakhstan remains committed to ensuring a healthier future for every citizen of the country. Our dedication to holistic care, community involvement, and embracing technological advancements ensures that we remain at the forefront of global healthcare innovation.”

Kazakhstan, WHO launch Global Conference on Primary Health Care

Kazakhstan and the World Health Organization (WHO) kicked off the two-day Global Conference on Primary Health Care on Oct. 23, reported the Korea Times.

“Primary health care is one of the most important concepts in public health. It is the most inclusive, effective and efficient path to universal health coverage. Today’s conference rightly focuses on putting policy into practice, by putting country-level evidence and experiences,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

The successful implementation of a primary healthcare approach, underscored by Ghebreyesus, hinges on four critical components. First, it necessitates an unwavering commitment to political leadership, grounded in an understanding of the extensive benefits that primary healthcare can offer in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals. Second, this approach requires the establishment of robust governance structures, inclusive policies, and regulations that promote partnerships, community leadership, and mutual accountability. Furthermore, it encompasses the efficient mobilization and allocation of resources to ensure equitable access to high-quality care while mitigating financial burdens. Lastly, it highlights the significance of active engagement from communities and other stakeholders in identifying challenges, devising solutions, and prioritizing policy actions, the article reads. 

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