MAIN POINTS OF President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s Speech at the Istanbul Process Ministerial Conference (Almaty, April 26, 2013)
Apr 29. Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan
• The decisions of the Istanbul Process Ministerial Conference will be important to the long-awaited peace in that country.
Political Future of Afghanistan
• Afghanistan is entering a historic stage. The exit of the ISAF should not be construed as a sign of weakened international focus on Afghanistan. It should signal the transition to a new, peaceful stage.
• The future is in the hands of the Afghans and the international community should fully encourage intra-Afghan dialogue. In this context, the 2014 presidential elections are important and it is hoped that the newly elected head of state would get maximum support from Afghan society.
Assistance to Economic Rehabilitation
• The main element of international assistance program is about economic rehabilitation of Afghanistan.
• We need to speed up regional economic cooperation and integrate Afghanistan in this process.
• Kazakhstan firmly supports regional integration and invests in regional infrastructure projects including transit corridor “Western Europe – Western China”, railway route “Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran”, Northern Distribution Network, the New Silk Road initiative.
• Kazakhstan also backs large regional projects such as TAPI, CASA-1000 and railways around and within Afghanistan.
Almaty as a Regional Hub for International Efforts on Afghanistan
• Almaty’s capabilities can be useful for Afghanistan’s development.
• Almaty is a close, efficient transport hub with large capacity.
• It also hosts the offices of many international agencies, including the U.N. Therefore, the UN’s international center should be set up in Almaty and should be focused on the rehabilitation of Afghanistan. Such a hub would be necessary to coordinate financial and economic assistance to Afghanistan through regional and sub-regional representatives of the U.N. and other international and regional organizations in the post-conflict period.
Kazakhstan’s Role in Afghanistan
• In 1996, Almaty hosted an emergency summit of Central Asia and Russia, when the situation in northern Afghanistan deteriorated rapidly, which led to the UN SC meeting and adoption of UN SC resolution on Afghanistan No. 1076, the first one during 1990-1996.
• Kazakhstan also helped Afghanistan during its chairmanships of the OSCE and the OIC ministerial conference. It actively takes part in discussions on Afghanistan within the SCO and CSTO.
• Afghanistan is also a important issue in our cooperation with the NATO. Kazakhstan has been providing logistical support to NATO, U.S. and other countries (Germany, France, Spain, UK) bilaterally.
• Transit potential for NATO cargo will be enhanced through use of Aktau port on the Caspian sea.
• Kazakhstan is part of international efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. Kazakhstan has been implementing a special assistance plan for Afghanistan since 2007. Under the plan, 1,000 Afghan specialists are being trained in Kazakhstan. Our country also provides technical and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. For the funds provided by Kazakhstan, highway Talukan-Kunduz-Shirkhan-Bandar has been reconstructed. Under Kazakhstan’s assistance program, a school and hospital have been constructed.
• Kazakhstan is also setting up a national agency for development and technical assistance called “KazAID”, which will mostly focus on Afghanistan.
• Kazakhstan is prepared to supply more grain, flour and other foodstuffs to Afghanistan through the Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Program. We call upon international donors to actively use Kazakhstan’s potential in Afghanistan’s rehabilitation.
New Threats and Challenges
• We should jointly combat drug production and drug trafficking. Without it, it would be difficult to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan after 2014.
• An important role should be played by CARICC (Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre for Combating Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and their Precursors), which, created under the UN aegis, proved to be an efficient mechanism in the region.
• Afghanistan is still a source for terrorist and extremist activities. This should be kept in mind while we plan our efforts in Afghanistan.
Platform of Regional Interests/Almaty Declaration
• Clear approaches, constructive policy, rejecting geopolitical strategies damaging stable development of the region are main the parts of our thesis about the “platform of the regional interests.” Eurasian countries should speak with one voice about their intentions with regard to Afghanistan for the sake of peace in the region. It is hoped that this approach will be supported by the countries outside the region.
• The outcome document – Almaty Declaration – should contain clear signals to the Afghan society, political forces in the country and beyond that international society will not change its the course for continued support for Afghanistan.
• We are confident that all states participating in Istanbul process in various statuses will continue a constructive dialogue and cooperate.