ASTANA – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev underlined national interests and strategic tasks in the country’s foreign policy in an interview with the Egemen Qazaqstan newspaper, released on Jan. 3.
Tokayev once again mentioned the country’s priorities, which are ensuring the inviolability of sovereignty and territorial integrity, protecting the rights and interests of its citizens, and creating favorable external conditions for sustainable economic growth.
In the current difficult geopolitical conditions, it is important for Kazakhstan to develop pragmatic cooperation with all foreign partners and, above all, neighbors.
Referring to the relevance of the C5+ format, he said Central Asia is a dynamically developing region with its own vision of geopolitical realities and broad opportunities in trade, investment, business, and innovation. That is why, Tokayev said, interest in Central Asia significantly increases worldwide.
The President reiterated that Kazakhstan will chair several influential regional and international organizations and associations this year. The Astana International Forum, with the participation of leaders of a number of states and global companies, will become one of the significant events in June. This platform traditionally discusses global topics such as climate change, food shortages and energy security.
“Kazakhstan agreed with France to host the One Water Summit on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) this year, which is supposed to contribute to the global climate agenda,” he noted.
Tokayev: China is a highly developed state, including the high-technology
Tokayev also addressed relations with China, which occupy a special place in Kazakhstan’s foreign policy. The relations between Kazakhstan and China are developing in the spirit of friendship, good neighborliness, and eternal strategic partnership, he said.
“Together with Chinese President Xi Jinping, we launched a new ‘golden thirty years’ of cooperation between Kazakhstan and China. (…) During substantive negotiations with the leader of China in Xi’an and Beijing, we reached important agreements and outlined specific ways for their implementation. Such personal contacts fully reflect the high level of relations between Astana and Beijing. Kazakh-Chinese relations can confidently be called exemplary,” Tokayev emphasized.
In 10 months last year, Kazakhstan and China witnessed a record trade turnover, which hit $24.3 billion. Kazakhstan is working to expand the range of exports and increase the volume of supplies to China. According to the President, Kazakhstan has gained nearly $24 billion in Chinese investment.
“Regarding China, we should not have fears brought in from outside or based on ideas of bygone days. Now, China is a highly developed state, including in the field of high technology. The whole world recognizes this. Therefore, it is extremely important for Kazakhstan to cooperate with our eastern neighbor and to effectively use all the advantages of such friendly relations and mutual trust,” Tokayev highlighted.
Tokayev: Kazakhstan and Russia have over 300 treaties and agreements
Answering the question about the presidential election in Russia scheduled for March, Tokayev said that this event is of particular interest to Kazakhstan due to the high level of relations between Astana and Moscow.
“Russia is the main strategic partner and ally of Kazakhstan. Over the past 30 years, we have built an impressive architecture of interstate relations, which includes over 300 treaties and agreements. Bilateral cooperation mechanisms operate in almost all areas,” the President said, emphasizing that trade turnover between the two countries reached $21.4 billion in 10 months of 2023.
According to Tokayev, the presidential election in Russia will have great international significance and will attract the attention of most countries in the world.
“We must realize that Russia plays an extremely important role in world politics and has the status of a permanent member of the United Nations (UN) Security Council. Russian President Vladimir Putin is a leader who, with his words and actions, essentially shapes the global agenda. The opinion of Russia is taken into account throughout the world; without the participation of this state, not a single world problem can be solved, and this is a fact,” the President said.