Konstantin Zhigalov addressed the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council at NATO headquarters

March 3. osce2010

Konstantin Zhigalov addressed the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council at NATO headquartersDeputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Konstantin Zhigalov addressed the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council at NATO headquarters, Brussels. He was invited by North Atlantic Alliance to the first EAPC Ambassadorial meeting in 2010 in the capacity of Special Envoy of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office.

Among the international organizations concerned with security issues in the Euro Atlantic area it is precisely the OSCE and the EAPC that are most similar in their composition, what predetermined by common objectives and priorities, the most obvious of which is Afghanistan.

In his address Konstantin Zhigalov noted that today the concept of European security goes far beyond the borders of the European continent and encompasses the vast expanse of Eurasia. Accordingly, Kazakhstan intends to pay particular attention to Afghanistan. The focus on Afghanistan during the Kazakh Chairmanship is a logical element of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy, since we regard the Afghan problem from the point of view of global and regional security and are providing long term systematic support to the international coalition.

It is worth to mention that a significant step in this area was the conclusion of an agreement between Kazakhstan and the Alliance on rail transit in support of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in the beginning of this year. Similar agreements have been signed earlier with Germany, France, the United States and Spain.

According to Kazakhstan’s representative in the same time it is necessary to change the framework for combating these terrible challenges of the modern age – to switch the focus from methods involving the military and the police to the elimination of the sources of these challenges. Helping the Afghan people to transform their society plagued by armed confrontation into a productive society – this is principal goal of the activities of the OSCE and the international coalition.

NATO highly appreciated that despite of the effects of the global financial crisis, Kazakhstan has allocated 50 million dollars for the implementation of agreement between Kazakhstan and Afghanistan under which 1,000 Afghan specialists will receive training at Kazakh educational institutions. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that Kazakhstan will continue active work within the OSCE to improve the level of border management between the Central Asian countries and Afghanistan, to develop transborder co operation and to strengthen the potential of Afghanistan’s border guards and police force.

The OSCE CiO Special Envoy paid particular attention to the development of the dialogue on the OSCE platform on the future of European security that has become known as the “Corfu Process”. He expressed hope for the support from NATO states in facilitating this dialogue.

“We intend to continue the tradition initiated by the Greek Chairmanship by holding an informal Ministerial Council meeting in Almaty this summer to take stock of the interim results of the “Corfu Process” and other pressing problems for the OSCE” – underlined CiO representative.

The willingness expressed by a number of countries in Athens to discuss the Russian Federation’s initiative calling for the drawing up of a Treaty on European Security was positively noted in the context of the dialogue on the future of European security. K.Zhigalov said that Kazakhstan regards this as a call for a broad strategic dialogue on Euro Atlantic and Eurasian security.

Kazakh diplomat confirmed the OSCE’s commitment to preserving the European conventional arms control regime and confidence and security building measures (CSBMs). He positively marked the perspectives within the latest initiatives to update the Vienna Document 1999 as well as expressed hope that progress will be made in 2010 within the process of the entry into force of the Agreement on Adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty).

Kazakh representative outlined that Kazakhstan Chairmanship attaches great importance to paying equal attention to all three dimensions of the Organization and informed on concrete steps in this direction.

Having set itself, within the Chairmanship, and the OSCE the serious task of resolving pressing security problems, Kazakhstan intends to make full use of and develop the potential for co operation with other international organizations such as NATO and the EAPC, the European Union, and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).

The OSCE CiO’s Special Envoy paid significant attention to President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s initiative calling for the OSCE Summit in 2010. In particular he said that having received crucial support at the Ministerial Council meeting in Athens, the Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship immediately began to work on giving substance to a summit agenda.

“We can now already speak of a basis for giving substance to a summit agenda. It might include such critical issues as the Afghan problem, a decision on the Vienna Document, which is altogether feasible if the participating States continue to take a constructive approach, and a discussion of the question of Euro Atlantic and Eurasian security architecture in the light of the new threats and challenges,” – stated K.Zhigalov. He expressed hope that Allies and Partners will support this initiative taking into account all these questions are subjects to which NATO and EAPC pay particular attention.