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Iraq supports initiatives voiced by President Nazarbayev in Manifesto «The World. The 21st Century» - Charge d'Affairs of Iraq to Kazakhstan Younis Salim Sarhan

29 July 2016 16:47
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Iraq supports initiatives voiced by President Nazarbayev in Manifesto «The World. The 21st Century» - Charge d'Affairs of Iraq to Kazakhstan Younis Salim Sarhan

ASTANA. KAZINFORM - Kazakhstan pursues peaceful and constructive course in its foreign policy and builds its relations with other countries based on the principles of mutual respect and benefit. One of Kazakhstan's important partners in the Middle East is the Republic of Iraq that has been going through some hard times lately.

Charge d'Affairs of the Republic of Iraq to Kazakhstan Younis Salim Sarhan told Kazinform about the perspectives of further development of Kazakhstan-Iraq cooperation.

We know that Iraq has been going through hard times lately. But, from your perspective, what is the future of Kazakhstan-Iraq economic cooperation?

The overriding goal of our work is to develop relations with Kazakhstan in all spheres. As for the trade and economic cooperation, it is the foundation on which we will build relations between the two countries. Of course, both sides are looking for the ways to develop that cooperation which, for the record, is in its initial stage. Iraq without doubt is interested in trade cooperation with Kazakhstan in order to meet its inner demand for food and industrial products. It was revealed during the visit of the Iraq Chamber of Commerce to Kazakhstan in 2013.

We've noticed that Kazakhstan has been displaying interest in cooperation with Iraq lately. We had a couple of meetings with heads of various economic and investment bodies. We had meetings with Askar Arynov, General Director of the National Export and Investment Agency KAZNEX INVEST, and Aitugan Omarov, Deputy Director of the Regional Chamber of Entrepreneurs.

The Kazakh side expressed readiness to sign the Memorandum of Mutual Understanding between the Federation of Iraqi Chambers of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce of Kazakhstan and asked to organize a visit for the Kazakh delegation to Baghdad and Basra in order to meet with the leadership of these chambers. We also had a number of meetings with representatives of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Kazakhstan to speed up consideration of the Memorandums of Mutual Understanding in all spheres of cooperation proposed earlier by the sides.

There are a lot of investment opportunities and a huge potential for cooperation in Kazakhstan, especially in terms of the creation of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway line near southern regions of Iraq. The embassy plans to conclude consideration of the Memorandums of Mutual Understanding and works on the establishment of the Iraq-Kazakhstan Business Council and exchange visits of businessmen and heads of various ministries and bodies of the two countries.

To your mind, what spheres of cooperation between Kazakhstan and Iraq can become the most profitable?

Iraq is interested in procurement of Kazakhstani wheat and other food products. We can exchange experience in agricultural sector, industry and new technologies. Iraq also needs raw materials and high quality pharmaceuticals. We hope that Kazakhstan will participate in trade fairs in Iraq, such as the International Trade Fair in Baghdad held in October annually.

How do you estimate cooperation between the two countries in the international arena? What's Iraq stance on Kazakhstan's non-permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)?

The diplomatic missions of the two countries constantly work on the issues of cooperation and coordinate their actions in the international organizations. Iraq supports Kazakhstan's candidature as the non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2017-2018 and we congratulate all Kazakhstanis on the election of your country to the Council. Iraq highly appreciates understanding of the Kazakh side of its request to inscribe some of its natural and historic properties into the List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The final decision will be made by the World Heritage Committee which Kazakhstan is a member of. Iraq proposed to inscribe Ur, Uruk, Eridu and other sites into the list.

Does Iraq support the Manifesto "The World. The 21st Century" proposed by President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington?

Iraq supports all initiatives aimed at strengthening of international security and peace, de-escalation of tensions in the international arena caused by the standoff between world powers and the policy of double standards that have almost destroyed mutual trust. Chances that weapons of mass destruction will end up in the hands of terrorist are higher than ever. Plus, instability and conflicts in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Africa. It all resulted in increase in terrorist activity, deaths of innocent people, destruction of cultural, historic and religious monuments and inflow of refugees to the neighboring countries and Europe.

Given that we share Kazakhstan's concerns voiced in the Manifesto "The World. The 21st Century" by President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. We highly appreciate the proposals to prevent the threat of nuclear war and to stop regional and inner conflicts. We support peaceful initiatives spearheaded by the Republic of Kazakhstan in the sphere of non-proliferation, nuclear test ban and prevention of international terrorism which has become one of the greatest threats to security and stability in our world.

Thanks you for the interview.

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