Results and priorities
Dec 20. Kazpravda
By Julia Mager
At a briefing in the Central Communications Service under the President, Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrisov tallied up the work of the Foreign Ministry in 2013.
The FM Y. Idrisov detailed on the main foreign policy priorities in 2013. An important result of interaction with Russia was the new Agreement of good-neighborliness and alliance in the XXI century, signed by Presidents Nursultan Nazarbayev and Vladimir Putin, which confirms the already existing areas of cooperation, taking into account the challenges and trends of the modern world. Another important result is the establishment of partnership and trustful dialogue with the new President of China Xi Jinping.
As for the Central Asian direction, the foreign policy is focused on such topical issues as the regional security, intensification of economic cooperation. In 2013, 4 presidential meetings, 2 prime-ministerial and 3 foreign ministerial meetings were held, which resulted in signing of 12 bilateral documents.
In the frames of the strategic partnership with the United States, the work on institutionalization of bilateral cooperation keeps going, aimed at systematization of relationship between the two states. Besides, an important result of 2013 is the agreement on issuance of five-year multiple-entry visas to the U.S. and RK residents on a reciprocal basis.
– The European Union remains a major trade and investment partner of Kazakhstan, — Mr. Idrisov went on. — This year important visits to our country were paid — the official visit of the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Kazakhstan continues expansion of its presence at the European continent. Thus, this year Kazakh Embassy has been opened in Sweden and the diplomatic mission in Norway obtained the status of the embassy. The work is underway on enhancement of partnership and cooperation with the EU and liberalization of visa regimes for Kazakhstanis.
Dynamic political and economic growth in Asia requires the expansion of bilateral and multilateral relations with the Asia-Pacific region, stressed Mr. Idrisov. Therefore, the MFA focuses on the maximal use of trade-economic and investment potential in technological cooperation with Asia-Pacific countries and expansion of Kazakh presence in the region through finding of new markets.
Recently Kazakhstan Embassy opened in Vietnam and the diplomatic mission in Thailand received the status of the Embassy. The work on strengthening of cooperation with South Asian countries, India and Pakistan, Iran and other Arab countries, Turkey, Africa and Latin America is underway.
This year, the President signed an agreement to open an embassy in South Africa, and it is planned to open an embassy in Ethiopia in 2014. By the way, this year Kazakhstan has received the observer status in the African Union, which will help promote political and economic interests on the continent.
In 2014 Kazakhstan will open an embassy in Mexico. There is an agreement with Chile and Argentina on abolition of visas for holders of diplomatic and service passports, and another agreement with Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia on establishment of a visa-free regime for all citizens.
– In accordance with the Strategy «Kazakhstan- 2050″ one of the priorities of the foreign policy is the development of economic diplomacy, which includes resolving of a number of problems, promotion of investment in priority sectors of Kazakhstan economy, — the minister underlined.
Currently Kazakhstan is one of the leaders in terms of inflow of foreign capital into the economy: in 2005 — 2013, the country attracted 173 billion dollars of direct foreign investment, which shows efficiency of the state programs, implemented in the country, as well as the attractiveness of the investment climate and confidence of foreign partners. Y. Idrisov also said that together with economic ministries, the MFA defined 20 priority countries-investors for closer cooperation, especially in attraction of advanced technologies.
As for the global security, the Foreign Ministry pays special attention to Afghanistan problems and Iran’s nuclear program. In the first half of 2012, Almaty hosted two rounds of talks on Iran’s nuclear program, which laid the ground for the current Geneva agreements.
Eurasian integration is one of the key directions of work of the Foreign Ministry, Mr. Idrisov said, stressing that the MFA have special plans for 2014, as in early 2015 it is planned to launch the Eurasian Economic Union.
Kazakhstan has applied for non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council in 2017-2018. The republic is involved in improvement of the global system of protection of human rights and freedoms and human rights mechanisms of the United Nations. Kazakhstan’s efforts on promotion of peace were supported by the UNESCO. The country also continues promotion of the initiatives on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, contributes to addressing of global economic crisis, develops “green economy”. In particular, at present the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is engaged in a most important and major project for the country — preparations for the EXPO -2017 in Astana.
At present, Kazakhstan has agreements with 60 countries on visa-free travels for holders of diplomatic and service passports and residents.