Bakir Izetbegović: We have to speed up communication to create bigger Eurasia
NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM As is known, on September 23-24, the city of Nur-Sultan is hosting the IV Meeting of Speakers of the Eurasian Countries’ Parliaments. The theme of the meeting is «Greater Eurasia: Dialogue. Trust. Partnership.» Speaking at the UN General Assembly meeting in 2015, First President of Kazakhstan-Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev said: «The time has come to rally around the idea of Greater Eurasia that will unite the Eurasian Economic Union, Silk Road Economic Belt, European Union into a single integration project of the 21st century.» The meeting will discuss and build shared vision and ways to ensure sustainable development of the Eurasian space.
Kazinform International News Agency offers its readers an interview with Bosnian politician Bakir Izetbegović, who has also arrived in the Kazakh capital for the 4th meeting of the Eurasian Parliaments’ Speakers.
Mr. Bakir I am pleased to welcome you in Kazakhstan, especially in Nur-Sultan city. Could you please share your impressions about Kazakhstan and its capital city?
This is my second time. I was here two years ago on Expo. And from the beginning I was really impressed because this is really well-organized clean city that is built in last few decades and it deserves to be named after Nur-Sultan. As far as I know the President personally created everything here. So it is ok for Astana change its name as Nur-Sultan. He personally did his best to have well-organized, well-functioning beautiful city. There are so many beautiful buildings which remind of history of Kazakhstan.
You said it is your second visit to Kazakhstan. So what do you think about possibilities for future cooperation between Kazakhstan and Bosnia?
I think there is a really big space for expanding our relationships. And I think people from Kazakhstan and people from Bosnia will find the ways, because I find some similarities in mentality and spirits of people of Kazakhstan with our Bosnians. There are some links in the history because the Ottoman Turks brought some of your culture to my country. You can recognize there. Generally, people who are ready to fight for freedom, for better future. There are some similarities I found sometimes between our peoples. Nur-Sultan is becoming a hub here, in this part of the world, a rising hub. Bosnia could use it. At the same time Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina could be a hub for Kazakhstan, because everything in Europe is close to Sarajevo. One hour by plane to each capital in Europe. There are very good possibilities to invest in Europe through Bosnia and Herzegovina, because we have good arrangements with the EU without taxes, without duties. You can sell your products if you have joint ventures, firms with Bosnia.
Could you share your opinion about importance of the meeting of the Speakers of the Eurasian Countries’ Parliaments?
This is exactly is in line with what I have just said. To emphasize, to speed up things you have to have meetings. This time it is the meeting on the parliamentary level, the meeting of the Parliaments Speakers. The world is becoming, I can say, smaller, because of links, because of technologies. Kazakhstan was a very distant country for us 20 or 30 years ago. Now it is very easy to communicate, we have to use it. We have to speed it up to create, as it is said, a bigger Eurasia.
My last question, an important question for us is about the exhibition on life and work of Alija Izetbegović.
I am so happy that people from Kazakhstan decided to make a special gathering, an exhibition meant to the personality, life, achievements of my late father Alija Izetbegović. And in this step I see a lot of possibilities because there are lots of people around the world who are very interested in life of Alija Izetbegović. Now we have lots of Iranians, people from Malaysia something special
I think he deserves it because he was just one man who fought against very strong forces. He fought against communist regime, he fought for freedom and survival of our religion, Islam, for it was in a bad position during his life for 50 years. So he spent nine years in prison because of writing about this. Later he defended his people, his country. And again it looked impossible like one man cannot fight against such an army. It was very tough. It is a very interesting story about struggle, success of one man who fought for freedom, for his fate, for his people, for his country, as his said for Bosnia. There is a mixture Muslims, Catholics and Orthodox. Bosnia is not only a small part of land of the Balkans, it is an idea that different cultures, different identifies, different peoples can live, can function together.
Your father became a legend in your country...
Of course, he is a very respected person in Bosnia, not only in Bosnia, but throughout the world, mainly in Muslim countries. He received respect of the two worlds – the Islamic world and of the western world for the development of democracy. One of his books is titled «Islam between East and West.» So, Alija is a proficient leader between the East and the West.
Thank you for the interview!
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