N. Sarkozy: Kazakhstan is a giant we will cooperate with in all spheres


Ilyas Omarov

N. Sarkozy: Kazakhstan is a giant we will cooperate with in all spheresPresident of the French Republic Nicolas Sarkozy has paid a state visit to Kazakhstan. In his interview the French President commented on the current status of the Kazakh-French relations and their future prospects.

Mister President, what mood and expectations did you have when you arrived in Astana?

The most optimistic. Two years ago when Nursultan Nazarbayev and I met for the first time at the UN General assembly in New York we decided to give a new impulse to the relations between our countries. Kazakhstan and France have common interests in many areas but at that time our partnership was not at the height of the problems we are facing now. I hope my present visit will help us get to practical implementation of the planned purposes due to signing of a number of agreements and contracts to deepen political dialogue which was put to surface during two years. As a matter of fact we open a new page in relations between our countries.

First of all in the political aspect, being the pole of stability in the strategically important region Kazakhstan can bring the essential contribution to solution of numerous regional crises. The geographical position of Kazakhstan at the crossroad of power routes as well as its oil and gas recourses also determine the role of the country as the largest player in preservation of power safety all over the world.

For these reasons Kazakhstan is called to play more significant role in the world policy. We are convinced of it. We want it. That is the reason France supported Kazakhstan’s candidacy to the post of the OSCE chair and we are ready to help to perform this major mission successfully.

Our relations are under rapid development and in the economic plan as well. President Nazarbayev has the purpose to lead Kazakhstan in the number of the most competitive states of the world. I think it is possible and we want to help with this.

France ranks the fifth among foreign investors of Kazakhstan but I am sure that it is far not a limit. We are interested in originally partner ties in industry and technology. The joint work of such companies as ‘Areva’ and ‘KazAtomProm’ in atomic engineering can serve as an example. Such kind of partnership should be developed not only between industrial giants. It should also cover small and medium enterprises. Therefore I am accompanied by numerous heads of such enterprises during my visit.

At last we also develop cooperation in education and science. It is necessary to intensify it: we are ready to accept the Kazakhstani students to our high schools. Our countries have kind traditions in cultural sphere and I wish they have further development.

Europe is one of the key partners of Kazakhstan. Perhaps you may be aware of our Path to Europe program aimed at closer integration. What is your opinion about it?

The relations between Kazakhstan and the European Union become stronger year after year. Today you are our first trading partner in Central Asia: 25 percent of the Kazakhstan’s import fall on the European Union share.

As I have already mentioned Kazakhstan can play the major role in ensuring power security in Europe. Your country strives for diversification of routes of transport of energy carriers, and we – to a diversification of suppliers of power resources. So deepening of cooperation in this field is a part of our common interests.

As you can see, there is a wide field for cooperation with the European Union and therefore it would be desirable that relations between the EU and Kazakhstan continued to become stronger.

In your book «My opinion, France, Europe and the World in the XXI Century» you noticed that «you have risked to tell the truth to French people and they answered you with their trust». Whether you feel their trust now or not?

I should note that even under the terms of the most severe crisis France remains the country where it is possible to carry out reforms. Caricature representation of France as the country which was curtailed into a ball and is afraid to move was left in the past.

From the moment the work was thrown into recession I told French people: “it will be worst to refuse from the changes which are necessary under the pretext of the existing situation. We should continue started reforms because they will let us recover from the crisis and because the world will not wait for us”. I believe French people have perfectly understood it.

France was one of the first countries which supported wish of our country for presidency in the OSCE. In this process solution to the Afghani problem will be one of the main Kazakhstan’s priorities. How can we co-operate in this sphere?

Throughout two years France plays the important role aspiring to assist in reorientation of the international strategy in Afghanistan with a support on more global approach which is beyond only the military measurement. In this new approach is considered the fact that the long-term solution of the Afghani problem can be only political in character itself that is more intensive efforts should be taken in favor of development and more attention should be paid to regional measurement. We have accepted such new strategy at NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008 having confirmed it at the international conferences on Afghanistan in Paris and Hague.

Presidency in the OSCE will give your country additional possibilities of advancement on this way. I want to assure that France will completely support efforts on consolidation of ties between the Central Asia and Afghanistan as well as on creation of conditions this country could split up isolation, in particular, the economic one.

What course do you plan to keep to in the foreign policy ?  What role will Kazakhstan play in it?

In my opinion France being true to itself, its values, is such France which plays a role appropriate to it in world policy, ranks an active position almost everywhere where it can assist in search of solutions; such France which highly bears its values, ideas offering them to the world as a whole; at last, it is such France which operates, goes by the way of innovation, plays the leading part without being afraid to meet challenges of our time.

Since my election, our foreign policy guides this idea of France and its role in the world. In Lebanon, in Darfur, during the crisis in Gaza, during the Russo-Georgian conflict, we have done everything possible to help the parties take the path of peace. As I mentioned, Kazakhstan is a key partner in Central Asia, however the region has strategic importance for the world. Kazakhstan is a giant and we intend to develop relations in all fields: politics, economy, energy, culture, human relations, and many others.

– The global financial crisis has affected all countries. What are your recipes to overcome it?

– The crisis of such magnitude requires being modest, and no one can confirm that have some ready-made prescriptions. However, I have some ideas that I deeply believe.

Firstly, the world must unite, because no one country or continent unable to cope with such shock alone. Cooperation is a pressing need during the crisis. That’s what I said a year ago, speaking at a session of UN General Assembly, and later, five weeks after the first meeting of the G 20 recently held its third meeting in Pittsburgh.

Secondly, I have repeatedly stressed that a deep reorganization of the financial system is required to avoid recurrence of such phenomena. It is necessary to restructure capitalism, giving it an adjustable nature. This is happening now. Meetings of G20 in Washington, London and Pittsburgh let to progress in the field of financial regulation and a few months ago, nobody would ever have imagined it. In a short time any financial statement, single financial institution or a single financial market will not escape from the control.

Tax havens, bank secrecy are in the past. We intend to introduce a reasonable framework for the remuneration, in particular, reward traders in order to end an absolutely scandalous situation in bonuses. Structural reorganization of capitalism is impossible without reforming the global system of economic regulation: it is necessary to increase the share of large countries with booming economies and developing regions.

– The traditional question: what qualities do you think should have a modern politician?

– The first quality that comes into my mind is the determination in action. Leaders are chosen not to talk about the fate of the world, but they should make the decisions, compromise, solve problem. That is what citizens expect from us. Of course, this is not always easy, sometimes even risky, but in any case, you cannot be idle on this pretext. At this place we have an unusual advantage: we can change something. And we must never forget it. Politician’s duty is to act.

Another important factor is a sense of responsibility. In the world where a profound transformation is undergoing, where there are more threats and challenges a tremendous responsibility lies on leaders. If we do not take the necessary decisions to confront the financial crisis that erupted recently, to combat climate change that threatens life on our planet, to solve the problems that threaten international security, who will do it for us? In my opinion, our countrymen have the right to demand from us responsible actions for the general welfare.