Ambassadors of five countries presented their credentials to President Nursultan Nazarbayev, including Ambassador of Kuwait Tareq Abdullah Al-Faraj, Ambassador of the United States George Albert Krol, Ambassador of Pakistan Abdul Salik Khan, Ambassador of Bulgaria Vasil Petkov and Ambassador of Saudi Arabia Ghurm bin Saeed Al Milhan.
In his speech, Nursultan Nazarbayev congratulated the ceremony participants with the start of their diplomatic career in Kazakhstan, expressing his confidence that the diplomats will decently fulfill their tasks, ensuring further development of relations with our country.
“You start your mission in challenging times, when the situation in the world is becoming increasingly unstable, which affects our country as well. Against the background of new challenges and threats, Kazakhstan needs to preserve internal stability, social harmony and ensure further development of the country. Therefore, the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan has put forward initiative to hold early presidential election this year. This proposal was unanimously supported by the citizens, following which a decision was made to hold election on April 26,” he said.
The Head of State noted that the upcoming presidential election will be a symbol of political maturity of Kazakhstan’s society and its strong commitment to democratic values and the rule of law.
“Kazakhstan will do its best to ensure the electoral process is open and fair. The election will give a powerful impetus to guaranteeing stability of Kazakhstan, which is a key element in dealing with massive challenges of modernising the country’s economy and society,” he said.
The President underscored that today our country stands at a new historic juncture. In particular, Nursultan Nazarbayev emphasized the launch of five major institutional reforms aimed at joining 30 most developed countries in the world. Among them, establishing a professional state apparatus; solidifying the rule of law; achieving industrialisation and economic growth; unifying as a single nation for the future; and functioning as a transparent and accountable government.
The Head of State reminded the participants of the importance of some specific projects aimed at further development of Kazakhstan.
“The new programme of infrastructure development "Nurly zhol” is designed to transform Kazakhstan into a business, transit and logistics hub of the entire Central Asian region. I am sure that after the programme is implemented, Kazakhstan will be able to provide the shortest and most effective way from Asia to Europe. International exhibition EXPO-2017 to be held in Astana will open up new business opportunities as well. All this provides better prospects for deepening our cooperation. I hope that your work will be focused on unleashing the maximum potential of bilateral cooperation with our country,” he said.
Nursultan Nazarbayev noted with satisfaction the high level of multidimensional strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and the United States.
“The United States was among the first countries in the world to recognize the independence of Kazakhstan, providing us with security guarantees. We very much appreciate our trust-based dialogue with Washington at the highest level, as well as at the intergovernmental and interagency level. Energy partnership is gathering its pace both in the field of resource development and their transportation to the world markets. In Kazakhstan, there are more than 400 joint ventures. Last year alone, bilateral trade between our countries amounted to about $ 2.5 billion,” he said.
The President emphasized that international and regional issues constitute a matter of mutual interests. This includes nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, rehabilitation of Afghanistan, support for stability in Central Asia and other important issues.
The Head of State pointed out that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of our key partners in the Arab and Muslim world.
“We highly appreciate the friendly support given by the people and leadership of the Kingdom at the dawn of independence of Kazakhstan. The trust-based political dialogue between our countries laid a solid foundation for expanding trade and economic cooperation. We have created conditions and legal framework for cooperation in the field of investment, science and technology exchange. We are both interested in deepening our cooperation in agriculture, petrochemicals, energy, transport and tourism. We are ready to continue our partnership and strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation between Astana and Riyadh,” he said.
Nursultan Nazarbayev also noted the ongoing development of relations with the State of Kuwait.
“Among the important events in the history of our bilateral relations was the opening of Kazakhstan’s Embassy in Kuwait in 2014 and the opening of Kuwait’s Embassy in Astana in 2015. I am sure that the exchange of diplomatic missions will give a powerful impetus to the deepening of political, trade, economic and investment cooperation. The exchange of visits at the highest level is of great importance as well,” he maintained.
The President stressed that our country considers Pakistan as one of the most important and promising partners in South Asia.
“We are interested in expanding political and economic ties with Islamabad. Kazakhstan is a major producer of grain crops and other agricultural products and can act as a supplier of agricultural products in Pakistan. We also appreciate the active participation of Pakistan in the work of Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions and the Astana Economic Forum,” he said.
The Head of State noted that Kazakhstan traditionally enjoys friendly relations with Bulgaria.
“The two countries have established a solid legal base and strong intergovernmental ties. We are also actively developing our inter-parliamentary contacts. Our political dialogue is supported by economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation. An important element of the “people’s diplomacy” is the presence of the Bulgarian community in Kazakhstan. Our country has become home to thousands of ethnic Bulgarians. Unfortunately, the volume of mutual trade between Kazakhstan and Bulgaria remains insignificant. I am sure that this issue will be resolved through our joint efforts,” he said.
Addressing the ceremony participants, Nursultan Nazarbayev noted the diplomats will have a great deal of work to do in the nearest future.
“This involves the 8th Astana Economic Forum, 5th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, along with a number of other activities under the auspices of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and major international projects. Kazakhstan’s joining the World Trade Organization will contribute to the expansion of cooperation with our foreign partners as well,” he said.
The President underscored that Kazakhstan’s foreign policy has always been and will remain peaceful, well-balanced and based on the principles of trust, equality and mutually beneficial cooperation.
“I hope your work will be focused on strengthening trust, unleashing the maximum potential of cooperation between our countries, and providing new impetus to the development of intergovernmental relations,” he said.
In conclusion, the Head of State once again congratulated the ambassadors with the start of their diplomatic career in Astana, wishing them every success and pleasant stay on the hospitable Kazakh land.
Addressing a press briefing following the official ceremony, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Kuwait Tareq Abdullah Al-Faraj conveyed the greetings from Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and thanked the people of Kazakhstan for the warm welcome and kindness.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States George Albert Krol, in turn, noted stability and prosperity in Kazakhstan.
“I look forward to further strengthening and deepening our relations that are developing in the field of economics, politics, culture and security. Kazakhstan is making economic progress, works to democratize the political system, making a significant contribution to nuclear non-proliferation, as well as the establishment of regional and global peace and stability,” he said.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Abdul Salik Khan emphasized that Kazakhstan, being the largest by area and the second most populous country in Central Asia, occupies a strategic location in the heart of Eurasia.
“Due to huge energy reserves and rapid economic growth, Kazakhstan is an invaluable partner and driving force for the region. Our countries have a huge potential for further cooperation in trade, finance, technology and culture. During my stay in Kazakhstan, my efforts will be focused on strengthening economic ties and cooperation in energy, infrastructure and communications,” he noted.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Bulgaria Vasil Petkov said the relations between Kazakhstan and Bulgaria have deep historical roots.
“I will make every possible effort to promote cooperation and transform it into strategic partnership, since there is a political will for this. Kazakhstan has become home to 4,500 ethnic Bulgarians, who are decent citizens of their country and a natural bridge of friendship between our peoples. Moreover, as stressed by Nursultan Nazarbayev, there exists a huge unrealized potential in trade. I will focus my efforts on this and other areas as well,” he said.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ghurm bin Saeed Al Milhan stressed the dynamic development of cooperation between Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia.
“Our countries enjoy high level of political and economic cooperation. In the course of regular bilateral visits a lot of trade and investment agreements are signed. In addition, Kazakh people visit Saudi Arabia both for business purposes and to perform the rites of Hajj and Umrah,” he noted.