Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov shared his views on the role of modern Kazakhstan in the international arena, priorities of the country's foreign policy, medium and long-term prospects, and integration processes in an interview with Kaznform Agency.
In the age of boisterous globalization processes Kazakhstan's opinion and position are taken into consideration in the international arena. Our country takes an active part in many processes and proposes the world community mechanisms to solve urgent problems, also takes the lead and puts forward various initiatives. All of this is undoubtedly thanks to efforts and authority of our President Nazarbayev and the Foreign Ministry's productive activities. Mr Idrissov, could you tell us about the country's foreign policy priorities?
You are absolutely right, the foreign policy and other achievements of Kazakhstan are connected with the name of our President Nursultan Nazarbayev. His strategic talent and constancy to purpose became the key core of the country's steady development and its efficient positioning in the world community.
Thanks to the peaceful and constructive foreign policy Kazakhstan has embarked on a brand new level of international recognition, become an influential member of the world community. We built friendly relations and forged mutual benefit ties with CIS and non-CIS countries. Today's Kazakhstan participates on a par and makes contributions to settling regional and global problems of the modern world order. Kazakhstan's chairmanship in OSCE, OIC, EurAsEC, SCO, CSTO and Turkic Council is the brightest evidence of the country's high international standing.
The tasks on Kazakhstan's accession to the top 30 developed states of the world, purposed to drastically improve people's living standards, require new approaches to build international policy adequate to new challenges.
As for priorities of the country's foreign policy, we rely upon the guidance outlined in the State-of-the-Nation Address of the Head of State on modernization of the foreign policy. The point at issue are several reference and vital directions, broadly, all-round strengthening of regional and nationals security, active development of economic and trading diplomacy, intensification of international cooperation in cultural-humanitarian, scientific-educational and other fields, promoting legal protection of our citizens and their interest abroad.
It is no wonder that first of all we are concerned over situation in Central Asia and its stabilization. We undoubtedly prioritize eliminating conditions for conflict situations in the region. The years of independence more than once have proved that the best way to settle urgent socioeconomic problems, water and energy and other contradictions is the intra-regional integration.
Though intra-regional security we are striving for is impossible without global security. Our priorities remain unaltered in this direction.
Nuclear disarmament, a new model of interethnic and interfaith dialogue and consent, successful Kazakhstan's development way gave the country a new look.
Ensuring global nuclear security, adoption of the universal nuclear-free world declaration are our strategic aims on the way to the ideal world free of nuclear weapons. We work with IAEA in order to create a low-enriched uranium fuel bank and realization of ATOM (Abolish Testing Our Mission) project.
To contribute to solution of urgent global and regional problems and promote our international initiatives we set a goal of becoming a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2017-2018.
We keep on realizing the Global Energy and Ecology Strategy proclaimed by Kazakhstan and Astana Green Bridge initiative aimed at contributing to state and private sectors partnership of Europe, Asia and Pacific Region, public and international organizations in realization of green growth programs and plans.
Another highlight is Kazakhstan's active role in solution of global problems is holding May this year the UN-supported World Anti-Crisis Conference as part of the VII Astana Economic Forum that brought together high representatives from around the world the globe.
The World Anti-Crisis Conference as part of the VII Astana Economic Forum became logical continuation of G-Global initiative, a multifunctional internet-platform that unites above 30,000 experts from 150 countries of the world.
Along with the BIE, its member states and foreign partners we create necessary conditions, prepare to hold EXPO 2017 in Astana at high level.
As for the Eurasian integration we have witnessed recently signing of a historic treaty to create Eurasian Economic Union between Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia. The treaty will come into effect next January 1.
We stand for equal representation of parties in all integration bodies and consensus at all levels of integration interaction. All these conditions will be observed in the EEU.
Armenia's accession to the union in near future and Kyrgyzstan's joining till the year-end let pave a brand new foundation for expanding the integration alliance.
What are the priorities for the development of bilateral relations?
As for bilateral ties, our foreign policy priorities remain unaltered. We further cooperation with our neighbors: Russia, China, the US, EU and Asia. We pursue our strategic and long-term relations with Russia in political, trade-economic, cultural-humanitarian bilateral and multilateral cooperation both regionally and globally.
The top priority of Kazakhstan - China relations is consistent deepening of strategic cooperation through the high-level political dialogue, development of energy, investment, trade-economic cooperation, joint use of water resources of trans-border rivers and strengthening of cultural-humanitarian ties.
Joint activities aimed at nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, power generation, trading and investments, scientific-technical cooperation, global and regional cooperation remain vital within strategic partnership with the US. We are interested in partnership with leading US corporations to industrialize and diversify Kazakhstan's economy, to develop agriculture, science and education. Cooperation in stabilization of Afghanistan, counterterrorism and war on drug trafficking is another important direction.
The EU remains the key trading and investment partner of Kazakhstan. We signed agreements with France, Spain, Italy and Germany.
Nowadays we see the generations' change in many state bodies of Kazakhstan, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not an exception. Younger employees and managers replace experienced diplomats. Can you say that the years of independence has formed a brand new national school of diplomacy?
Throughout the period of Kazakhstan's statehood development, diplomacy played a special role, as the position of any country depends on its ability to take its rightful place in the modern world order.
Today we can say that we have our own national school of diplomacy but on the basis of succession.
First ambassadors of independent Kazakhstan contributed to development, strengthening and promotion of Kazakhstan's diplomacy. They still work for the benefit of the country and share their experiences and knowledge with younger colleagues.
Today, many young diplomats have received their education in foreign countries, which undoubtedly broadens their horizons. Education abroad is not only an alternative knowledge but informal contacts with foreign friends that play a huge role in promoting our traditions, culture, values and priorities abroad. Thus, foreign education ultimately helps Kazakhstan in promoting its national interests.
In other words, we can say that the Kazakh Foreign Ministry is an intertwining of old and new traditions, knowledge and practical skills.
Are there any problems in your department?
There is a shortage of specialists in the field of qualitative simultaneous interpretation. This demanding, highly-skilled craft is used for industry conferences, sales meetings, international seminars and training seminars, governmental meetings, legal settings and trade shows, among many other instances. As you know, this skill requires special training and a lot of practice.
We try to solve the problem. Next month we plan to open the simultaneous interpretation department. Last year we sent our translators to St-Petersburg Graduate School of Translation at the Russian State Pedagogical University for training. They will come back to Astana in August the current year. The specialists will work in the new department of simultaneous interpretation.
This year, domestic diplomacy celebrates its 70th anniversary. What kind of activities will be devoted to the momentous event?
As you know, in April we celebrated the 70th anniversary of domestic diplomacy. April 12, 1944 the People's Commissariat of Foreign Affairs of the Kazakh SSR was established. On this occasion, on April 11 the Academy of Public Administration under the President on the sidelines of the I International Scientific-Practical Conference for Young Scientists "Thought Leadership: new guidelines for the development" has performed a separate section, dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the People's Commissariat of the Kazakh SSR, and the new concept of Kazakhstan's foreign policy for 2014-2020.
But the Day of Diplomatic Service of the Republic of Kazakhstan is celebrated on July 2. Twenty two years ago President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a decree on the establishment of a foreign ministry of Kazakhstan. Speaking about holidays I would like to congratulate you and all your colleagues with the upcoming Day of communication and information.
Thank you for the interview and wish you success in your work.