Articles by Altair Nurbekov

Scholars argue for long-term approach to U.S. and European policies to Central Asia

ASTANA – The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute (CACI) at American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC) in Washington, DC, held a book launch May 1 for the most recent work by S. Frederick Starr and Svante E. Cornell, “The Long Game on the Silk Road.” In the book, the authors, who serve as CACI chairman and director respectively,…

Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Briefs OSCE Colleagues in Potsdam

BERLIN – Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko participated in an informal Sept. 1 meeting of foreign ministers of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) member states. The event was organised by the German chairmanship of the OSCE, which leads the organisation in 2016. According to the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs,…

Riga Conference Focuses on EU–Central Asia Cooperation

RIGA – The Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA), in cooperation with the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, hosted an international conference April 1 centred on “EU Global Strategy and Central Asia: Vision and Instruments.” The conference, which brought together speakers from countries in…

Serbia Concludes OSCE Chairmanship; Kazakh FM Calls for More Robust Role for Group in Fighting Extremism

BELGRADE – The 22nd meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Ministerial Council in Belgrade Dec. 3–4 saw the culmination of Serbia’s one-year chairmanship of the international security body. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov headed the country’s delegation to the council meeting. According to the OSCE website, nearly…

Kazakh FM Stresses Need for Coordinated Policies on Eurasia, Stronger Ties with Europe

VIENNA – Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov continued his country’s public campaign aimed at promoting a framework of mutually beneficial cooperation within Central Asia and with its outside partners as he addressed a think tank gathering in Vienna Dec. 2. Idrissov participated in the second annual meeting of the Advisory Council of the Eurasian Council…

FM Idrissov Visits Vienna, Addresses ECFA on Eurasian Challenges

VIENNA – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov held a number of bilateral and multilateral meetings and took part in the second annual meeting of the Advisory Council of the Eurasian Council on Foreign Affairs (ECFA) during his working visit to Vienna Dec. 2. The date of the meeting coincided with the fifth…

“New Dubai” on Kazakh-Chinese Border Set to Change Trans-Eurasian Trade

KHORGOS, ALMATY REGION – Some might say this barren spot on the border between China and Kazakhstan is in the middle of nowhere. And they would be forgiven, for there were only a handful of people and cars spotted along the 300-km, five-hour train ride from Almaty to the nearby Altynkol station (that is, once…

Nazarbayev, Obama Reaffirm Strategic Partnership During New York Meeting

NEW YORK – Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and U.S. President Barack Obama had a bilateral meeting in New York on Sept. 29 to discuss international issues and bilateral trade, investment, energy and security cooperation. The meeting took place on the sidelines of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly. The presidents stressed the importance of…

FM Idrissov Shares Kazakh Approach to Int’l Issues During UN Security Council Open Debate

NEW YORK – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov took part in the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on the Maintenance of International Peace and Security chaired by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Sept. 30 in New York. In his remarks, Idrissov pointed out Kazakhstan’s approaches to international problems. In his…

Kazakhstan, Japan Call for Early Entry into Force of CTBT

NEW YORK – Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida as well as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and numerous other top officials and diplomats called for stepping up efforts to ensure an early entry force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty or CTBT. The pact would prohibit all nuclear tests. The…

Kazakh President Outlines MDG Successes, Calls for Portions of Defence Budgets to be Diverted to Development

NEW YORK – President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan took the floor at the UN Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda on Sept. 27, describing his country’s success in implementing the Millennium Development Goals and expressing support for the post-2015 agenda of sustainable development. On Sept. 25, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda…

Denis Ten Says Gets “Goose Bumps” Thinking about Olympics Coming to Almaty

KUALA LUMPUR – Kazakhstan’s top winter sports stars spoke here July 29 of Almaty commitment to provide the best experience for athletes for both the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. They told more than 50 reporters at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur how the combination of Almaty’s ideal winter climate and the short…

Almaty 2022 Bid Set for Historic Vote in Malaysia’s Capital

KUALA LUMPUR – In the morning hours of July 31, a high-level Kazakh delegation will make one last effort here to persuade the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members to cast their votes in favour of Almaty’s bid to host the Winter Olympic Games in 2022. The Chinese delegation will make a similar try, but naturally…

SCO Considers Expansion, Building Cooperation with Other States during Moscow Meeting

MOSCOW – Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov participated in the June 3 regular meeting in Moscow of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). The focus of the meeting was to prepare for the upcoming council of the heads of SCO member states that will take place July 9-10 in…

Kazakh FM Idrissov Visits Russia’s Altai Region for Talks with Lavrov

GORNO-ALTAISK, RUSSIA – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov paid a working visit to Gorno-Altaisk, Russia, on May 29–30, where he met with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, to discuss Kazakh-Russian cooperation in the political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres. The two also signed a plan of action between the two countries’…

Syrian Opposition Groups Meet in Kazakhstan’s Capital

ASTANA – Representatives of some Syrian opposition groups began their talks in Kazakhstan’s capital on May 25, the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on May 25, saying the talks are expected to continue until May 27. “Today, the whole world is anxiously watching the events taking place in the Middle East,” the Foreign Ministry…

CIS Council of Foreign Ministers Address Border Security, Disaster Prevention

BISHKEK – Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov took part in a meeting of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek on April 3. The agenda of the meeting included fifteen issues related to increasing cooperation within the CIS. At the initiative of the Kazakh…

FM Idrissov Attends Afghanistan-Focused CSTO Council in Dushanbe

DUSHANBE – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov took part in the meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) Council of Foreign Ministers in Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe, on April 2, where the discussions centred heavily on the situation in neighbouring Afghanistan. The foreign ministers of the CSTO member states first met in…

Kazakh FM Urges More Progress in Nuclear Disarmament, Stresses Commitment to Human Rights

GENEVA – Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov urged greater global efforts in nuclear disarmament at the plenary session of the Conference on Disarmament and addressed the High Level Segment of the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on March 4.“Today, the world is experiencing a major transformation. We have…

Kazakhstan’s Ethnic Assembly Calls for Early Presidential Election

ASTANA – At its Feb. 14 meeting, the council of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan (APK) called for an early presidential election in Kazakhstan. The council members, representing more than 800 ethnic associations throughout the country, explained their action by citing “numerous appeals of citizens,” a need to give the President “a new…

Kazakhstan Welcomes New Minsk Agreements on Ukraine, Stresses Implementation

ASTANA – Kazakhstan welcomed the results of the marathon 16-hour talks between the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and France and the chancellor of Germany in Minsk on Feb. 11 and 12 and the signing of a package of measures on the implementation of the Minsk agreements by the contact group. In a statement issued late…

Nazarbayev, Poroshenko Discuss Possible Ukraine Summit in Astana at “End of January”

ASTANA – Presidents of Kazakhstan and Ukraine Nursultan Nazarbayev and Petro Poroshenko spoke on the phone on Jan. 15 to discuss current situation in Ukraine and a possibility of holding an Astana summit on the settlement of the conflict in the eastern part of that country in the Normandy Four format “at the end of…

Five Asylum Seekers from Guantanamo Arrive in Kazakhstan, Astana Confirms

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed Dec. 31 the acceptance by the country of the five former detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, citing their requests for asylum, petitions from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the country’s obligations under international conventions and humanistic reasons. “According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs…

Astana, Ankara Want to Grow Mutual Trade to $10 Billion, Strengthen Strategic Partnership

ANKARA – Calling their countries strategic partners and brotherly nations, Kazakhstan’s and Turkey’s foreign ministers announced their intentions to further deepen bilateral political and economic ties, including by reaching the mark of $10 billion in annual trade. The two foreign ministers, Erlan Idrissov of Kazakhstan and Mevlut Cavusoglu of Turkey, completed the meetings in the…

New Brussels-Based Think Tank to Focus on EU-Central Asia Relationship

BRUSSELS – Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov visited Brussels on Nov. 12 to address a distinguished audience of European politicians and scholars at the launch of a new think tank dedicated to fostering the region’s relationship with the European Union. The new dialogue platform is called the Eurasian Council on Foreign Affairs (ECFA)…

At UN General Assembly, Kazakh FM Warns Against Rising Tensions, ‘Right of Power’, Urges Attention to G-Global

NEW YORK – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov addressed the plenary session of the 69th UN General Assembly in New York on Sept. 26 in a speech that warned against rising tensions, double standards and rivalries over “perceived spheres of influence.” He called for increased engagement with Central Asia, praised the rise…

In New York, Idrissov Confirms Support for UN, Promotes Country’s Candidacy for UN Security Council

NEW YORK – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov visited New York from Sept. 22-27 to pledge support for the United Nations, promote Kazakhstan’s candidacy for the UN Security Council for 2017-2018 and advance bilateral ties with more than 50 countries in meetings held on the margins of the 69th session of the…

Kazakhstan Urges Peaceful Settlement to Ukraine Conflict, End to “Trade Wars”

NEW YORK – Kazakhstan calls and works for the peaceful settlement of the Ukraine crisis and is strongly opposed to the unfolding “sanctions war” between the West and Russia over it, the country’s foreign minister said in New York on Sept. 26. Speaking at the event, “The Ukraine Crisis, the OSCE, and the Future of…

Kazakh FM Urges Replacing ‘Great Game’ Philosophy with ‘Great Gain’ Philosophy

NEW YORK – Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov said his country is adamant to work with other partners in Central Asia and beyond to turn one of the region’s greatest challenges, its “land-lockedness”, into one of its greatest advantages, “land-linkedness”, through the restoration and expansion of trade, energy and transportation links along the ancient Silk…

Foreign Minister Visits Singapore, Seeks More Economic Cooperation

SINGAPORE – Beginning his tour of Southeast Asia, Kazakhstan Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov paid a visit to Singapore on Aug. 28 to improve bilateral relations and discuss the further expansion of trade and economic and investment cooperation. The main areas of cooperation between the two countries include public services, e-government, education, budget planning…

Kazakhstan Opens Exhibit for International Day Against Nuclear Tests in Kuala- Lumpur

KUALA-LUMPUR – Two days before the Aug. 29 International Day Against Nuclear Tests, the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Malaysia with the support of the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism and Culture opened a week-long exhibition dedicated to the day and The ATOM Project, one of President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s most…

Kazakh Foreign Ministry Expresses Condolences over Flight #MH17, Calls for “Most Thorough Investigation”

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued its first comments on the loss of the Malaysian jet and the perishing of around 300 people on board on July 17. The comments, posted on Facebook and Twitter, say: “We express our deepest condolences to the families and the close ones of those who perished due…

Almaty Hosts Retreat for Landlocked Nations’ UN Representatives

ALMATY – Kazakhstan’s largest city located in the picturesque foothills of the Tien Shan mountains hosted a retreat July 14-16 for the permanent representatives to the United Nations from landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) as they sought to share experiences in fighting the common challenges. Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov, UN Deputy Secretary General and High…

EBRD Takes Part in Kazakhstan Temir Zholy Eurobond

ASTANA – The London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has participated in a bond issuance by Kazakhstan’s national railway company, Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ), the bank announced on July 4. Kazakhstan Temir Zholy successfully completed the placement of a Swiss-franc-denominated Eurobond on the SIX Swiss Exchange on June 20. The total amount of the issue…

Astana, Paris Expand Political, Economic Ties

PARIS – Kazakhstan and France are working to expand their relations across the board as the two countries prepare for the French president’s visit to Astana before the end of the year, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry announced following the visit here by its top diplomat. Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov met with his French counterpart, Loran…

Kazakhstan, Argentina sign visa-free regime agreement, support each other at UN

ASTANA – The foreign ministers of Kazakhstan and Argentina signed a visa-free regime agreement on May 30 in Astana, another in a series of deals with Latin American countries and elsewhere that Kazakhstan is developing to help ease travel for its citizens. Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov met with Foreign Minister of Argentina Hector…

Arab, Central Asian Countries and Azerbaijan Agree to Bolster Economic Ties

RIYADH – The countries of the Arab League, Central Asia and Azerbaijan have made a major step towards bolstering their ties and recreating the commercial links characteristic of the Silk Road of yore when they agreed to work to increase their cooperation across a number of fields at the first gathering of these countries hosted…

Five Nuclear Weapon States Recognise Central Asia as Nuke-Free Zone, Guarantee Not to Use Most Powerful Weapons Against Region

ASTANA – Representatives of the five recognised nuclear weapon states signed the Protocol to the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone (CANWFZ) Treaty in New York on May 6, signifying a major positive development in the global non-proliferation efforts. Diplomats from China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States signed the document on the margins of…

Astana Urges “All Related Parties to Observe Geneva Accords” regarding Ukraine

ASTANA – Kazakhstan is deeply concerned by the escalating violence in Ukraine, including in connection with the recent events in Odessa, Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, the country’s foreign ministry said in a May 4 statement, urging “all related parties to observe the Geneva accords of April 17 of this year.” “With deep grief we note that…

Caspian Foreign Ministers Discuss Summit Preparations

MOSCOW – The five Caspian states consolidated a number of their positions after the April 22 Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Caspian States in Moscow. They also summed up preliminary results of the preparations for the Fourth Caspian Summit to be held in September in Astrakhan, Russia. In his remarks at the…

Research Project on Challenges of European Multilingualism Launches

THE HAGUE – A consortium of universities and scholars in 18 European countries has begun a new multi-disciplinary research project with a view to developing policy recommendations on managing the growing challenges relating to multilingualism in an ever-expanding European Union. Dr. László Marácz, a professor of linguistics in the Faculty of Humanities at the Department…

Eurasian Economic Integration ‘Will Continue,’ Nazarbayev Says

THE HAGUE – Kazakhstan will continue to pursue greater Eurasian economic integration with Russia and Belarus, as it sees integration as beneficial to its economy, while at the same time it will firmly guard its political sovereignty. That was the message delivered by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev at a March 25 briefing for Kazakh journalists…

Kazakhstan, US Discuss Expanding Trade, Nuclear Security Cooperation

THE HAGUE – President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan met with President Barack Obama of the United States on March 25 on the sidelines of the third Nuclear Security Summit here to discuss bilateral relations and international issues, paying particular attention to nuclear security. Speaking about bilateral cooperation, the two leaders considered further strengthening and developing…

Astana Updates its Nuclear Narrative in a New Edition of “Building a Nuclear Safe World”

THE HAGUE – The foreign ministry of Kazakhstan has updated its 2011 book, “Building a Nuclear Safe World: The Kazakhstan Way,” to reflect the country’s ongoing work to strengthen nuclear security, including efforts to bring an end to nuclear testing and, eventually, to create a world without nuclear weapons. The 200-page book with several dozen…

Nazarbayev Urges More Robust Global Efforts at Nuclear Security Summit

THE HAGUE – President Nursultan Nazarbayev was among the first world leaders to address the 3rd Nuclear Security Summit here on March 24 calling for more robust global efforts to secure nuclear materials through steps, such as countering nuclear terrorism, bolstering the UN watchdog agency and, ultimately, working toward complete global nuclear disarmament as the…

Global Nuclear Materials Security System Needed, U.S. Expert Says

THE HAGUE – A global nuclear materials security system is needed to address the absence of universal standards and mutual accountability for securing nuclear materials, and to reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism, an American non-proliferation expert has said. John Rohlfing, president of Washington, D.C.-based Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), in a March 19 opinion for…

Parliamentarians Urge Global Leaders to Work Toward Eliminating Nuclear Weapons

WASHINGTON – Members of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) have urged the global leaders converging in The Hague early next week for the Nuclear Security Summit to “commit to include in the agenda of your next meeting work on substantive plans to achieve the universal, legally verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons.” “If this…

U.S. Senator Introduces $100 Billion Nuclear Weapons Reduction Bill, As ATOM Project Is Presented in Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C – U.S. legislators from both sides of the aisle, the Kazakhstan Ambassador to the United States, representatives of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), The ATOM Project and more than 200 others gathered in the Russell Senate Building Feb. 27 for an evening meant to encourage anti-nuclear weapons dialogue and, according to…

Education, Balanced Foreign Policy Will Lead to Evolutionary Changes in Central Asia, Scholar Says

WASHINGTON, DC – Gradual and incremental changes will ensure greater popular participation in political processes, leading to evolutionary democratic changes in the countries of Central Asia as the middle class and new elites with modern educations will play increasingly assertive roles, said prominent American scholar on the region S. Frederick Starr. Starr also believes Afghanistan…

Kazakhstan Improves Score on Int’l Economic Freedom Index

WASHINGTON – Kazakhstan improved its position over last year on the Heritage Foundation’s 20th annual Index of Economic Freedom released Jan. 14. The study, released by the Washington, DC-based think tank in conjunction with the Wall Street Journal, examines countries in four areas of economic freedom within specific categories including rule of law (property rights,…

Politicians, Experts Seek Ways to Replicate Nuclear Disarmament Experiences Globally

HELSINKI, Oct. 20 – Leading international experts, diplomats, representatives of international organisations and nongovernmental organisation (NGO) activists in the field of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament gathered on Oct. 18-19 at the historic Paasitorni Congress Centre in the Finnish capital to discuss the political and NGO processes that have led some countries to forego nuclear weapons and how these experiences can be replicated in other countries.

Doors of Opportunity Open with Early Professional Orientation Programme

Children from broken homes and orphanages in Almaty are now receiving support from Chevron to study vocations in an effort to improve their adult lives. Through the “Early Professional Orientation Project” initiated in 2006 by Chevron and the Youth Achievements Center for Alternative Education, more than 700 teenagers in Almaty and Astana have gained the…