Kazakhstan can become a model of effective state formation, Kazakhstan's Permanent Representative to OIC B. Batyrshayev
ASTANA. May 18. KAZINFORM In his speeches President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev reiterated Kazakhstan's wish to expand cooperation with the Islamic world. In his Address to the Nation "Forced economic modernization as a main vector of development of Kazakhstan" the Head of State noted that Kazakhstan should properly complete its chairmanship at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
In his interview to Kazinform correspondent Kazakhstan's Permanent Representative to the OIC Bakhyt Batyrshayev told about the international organization and work done by our country as its chair.
Mr. Batyrshayev, Kazakhstan has added the OIC to the list of large international organizations that it chaired. Please, tell us about the OIC and why is it so attractive to Kazakhstan?
Kazakhstan's chairmanship in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the second largest international organization after the UN, is an outstanding achievement of our foreign policy. In 1995 when Kazakhstan joined the OIC (then the Organization of Islamic Conference) one could hardly imagine that 16 years later we will chair it. This is a reflection of the fact that over the period of independence under the supervision of President Nazarbayev Kazakhstan has proved to be a successful and respected country. Kazakhstan has already chaired the OSCE, SCO, CSTO and CIS.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation established back in 1969 today numbers 57 countries united by the idea of Islamic solidarity and global Muslim community. The OIC network allows the organization to do a tremendous work in various fields: politics and economy, education and culture, healthcare and environment. The OIC strives to develop cooperation between its member countries in these areas. Of course, it is worth mentioning that in comparison with the analogous European structures the OIC has lost a lot of time in the beginning, however, nowadays it makes up leeway. It is crucial that the process of harmonization of interests of the OIC member states goes non-stop. In this context it is important to realize that the OIC members differ in terms of their economic development, historical experience, and traditions, which considerably complicates the harmonization process. As the OIC chair, Kazakhstan realizes how diverse the Muslim world is. The decision to name Kazakhstan the presiding country made by the OIC member states turned out to be a huge success.
Kazakhstan is attracted to the OIC because of few things. Through its chairmanship we can promote our strategic interests in the Islamic world. The OIC consists of 57 Arab, Asian and African countries and that means they are our partners in the international policy and implementation of various initiatives suggested by Kazakhstan, development of economic and cultural dialogue. The OIC member countries are our neighbors: Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Before Kazakhstan took over the OIC chairmanship its member countries had a vague notion of modern Kazakhstan. 57 OIC foreign ministers brought together by the 38th conference in Astana in June 2011 were surprised to see a dynamically developing country. All OIC members unanimously acknowledge Kazakhstan as a model of effective state formation.
What has Kazakhstan done as a chair of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation?
Our chairmanship is based on the principals of gradual political and economic modernization. We are working on the implementation of five initiatives proposed by President Nazarbayev within the OIC: establishment of the food security system within the OIC; establishment of SME support system; setting up a dialogue between the leading Islamic economies; building up the investment and technological cooperation in the sphere of energy; and OIC participation in G-20. We already have certain results in these areas.
In addition, as the OIC chair Kazakhstan is involved in solution of the pressing international issues: Palestine's strive to get the UN membership, OIC campaign on overcoming the humanitarian crisis in Somali with donations worth USD 500 million from the Islamic countries. The 38th conference of the OIC foreign ministers in Astana adopted a 5-year Action Plan on cooperation between the OIC and Central Asia. It provides the development of cooperation in various spheres and is to strengthen ties between the Central Asian countries with the rest of the Islamic world. Kazakhstan closely cooperates with the Islamic Development Bank. We are to sign the Kazakhstan Country Strategy with the Bank that will attract more than USD 2 billion in investments.
Kazakhstan's efforts on reformation of the organization are highly appreciated as well. As the OIC chair Kazakhstan is focused on the activities of the Executive Committee, Permanent Representatives Committee, etc.
What steps has Kazakhstan made in terms of Middle East and North Africa stabilization?
From the very beginning Kazakhstan was heavily involved into development of the OIC position towards the Arab spring and its consequences. The annual coordination meeting of the OIC foreign ministers, chaired by Kazakh Foreign Minister Y. Kazykhanov, took place in New York in late September 2011. The meeting concentrated on the situation in the Middle East, North Africa and Libya. Kazakhstan as a part of the OIC mission also observed the first parliamentarian elections in Tunisia in October 2011.
The session of the OIC Executive Committee on Syria in November 2011 in Jeddah was a milestone. The Kazakh delegation headed by Foreign Minister Y. Kazykhanov did a lot to reach a compromise among the participants and adopt the final communiqué.
What is the future of Kazakhstan and Islamic world cooperation, especially within the Organization of Islamic Conference?
As a part of the Islamic world, Kazakhstan will expand cooperation with other Muslim countries. It is important to define the direction of this cooperation based on the strategic interests of our country and possibilities of our Islamic partners. Development of Kazakhstan's economy requires outward investments from the economically developed Islamic countries.
The large portion of Kazakhstan's export falls at the OIC territory. Turkey, Iran, the UAE, Malaysia and our Central Asian neighbors develop close commercial and economic relations with Kazakhstan. The cultural and humanitarian component of cooperation is relevant as well. It includes information interaction, protection of historic monuments, etc. In conclusion, I would like to stress that Kazakhstan's chairmanship in the OIC has already made it into the history because the organization was renamed during the OIC foreign ministers conference in Astana.
Thank you for your interview.
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