FOREIGN MINISTER ATTENDS 68TH SESSION OF UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY FOREIGN
Astana, September 28: Minister, Erlan Idrissov attended the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week. As well as taking part in the main sessions, Mr.Idrissov used the occasion to hold a series of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from a host of different countries. The Foreign Minister is due to speak on the last day of the session on Saturday September 28.
Many headlines around the world focused on the first speech to the UN by the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani. Mr.Rouhani assured his audience that Iran’s nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes: for producing nuclear energy, not nuclear weapons. There seemed to be the possibility of a rapprochement on the issue between Iran and the USA, as the latest round of the so-called “5+1” talks on the Iranian nuclear question, involving the Foreign Ministers of the Members of the Security Council, took place at the UN this week.
Although on this occasion the delegation from Kazakhstan was not involved in the nuclear talks on Iran, the subject is high on Kazakhstan’s foreign policy agenda. The last two rounds of talks, earlier this year, were both hosted by Kazakhstan, in Almaty. All sides acknowledged that Kazakhstan made an excellent host country in terms of the arrangements and facilitation of the talks.
Indeed, this week when Foreign Minister Idrissov met William Burns, the US First Deputy Secretary of State, Mr.Burns specifically thanked him for the efforts made by Kazakhstan over the Iranian question. He acknowledged, too, the important role Kazakhstan is playing in relation to the current situation in Afghanistan. In addition, the two men discussed Kazakhstan-US bilateral cooperation; global and regional security; as well as other developments on the international agenda. They also talked about the Commission on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between Kazakhstan and the US that was launched earlier this year.
While in New York, Mr. Idrissov held a meeting with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and discussed a wide range of bilateral cooperation issues. The Foreign Minister emphasized the great potential for trade and economic cooperation between the two countries and invited Qatar to participate in investment projects in Kazakhstan’s agriculture, livestock, oil and gas, mining, infrastructure and transport.
Minister Idrissov also discussed bilateral relations with Mahamoud Ali Youssouf of Djibouti; Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett of Guyana; Ioannis Kasoulides of Cyprus; Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan of Liberia; and Othman Jerandi of Tunisia. He met with the President of the 67th UN General Assembly, Vuk Jeremic too.
At his meeting with the Foreign Minister of Monaco, José Badia, Minister Idrissov discussed the forthcoming visit of President Nazarbayev to Monaco later this week. He also talked about technology transfer and the possible involvement of partners from Monaco in reforms in Kazakhstan in areas such as environment, renewable energy, tourism, pharmaceuticals and IT.
A key topic of Mr.Idrissov’s various discussions was the promotion of Kazakhstan’s candidacy for non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council in 2017-2018. This is one of the most important goals of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy. Kazakhstan’s activity at the UN Security Council and its participation in important decision-making processes in the area of security is testament to its deep commitment and involvement in both global and regional initiatives.
“On behalf of the U.S. Administration, William Burns thanked Kazakhstan for its efforts in assisting normalization of life in Afghanistan and the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program.”