Central Asia becoming increasingly visible on the map – President Tokayev
MUNICH. KAZINFORM – President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev participated in the panel discussion at the 56th Munich Security Conference in Germany on Saturday, Kazinform reports.
President Tokayev was joined by his Afghan counterpart President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani at the panel discussion themed Geography Matters: An Update on Central Asia. The conversation was moderated by Richard N. Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations.
When asked about being neighbors with both China and Russia, President Tokayev pointed out it is quite beneficial for Kazakhstan.
«As far as we are talking about Kazakhstan which is the 9th largest territory in the world and which is being located between both China and Russia, for us I think it’s beneficial, because we’re taking a lot of benefits from having close cooperation with both countries,» the Kazakh President stressed.
«Also, Kazakhstan is a very important part of Central Asia. It’s a huge territory which has been blessed by vast natural resources. I think that Central Asia is becoming increasingly visible or even conspicuous on the map. From my point of view, Central Asia will be increasingly important in terms of geopolitics,» Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said.
President Tokayev went on to emphasize that he puts priority on the development of innovations and digital economy in Kazakhstan and he vowed to do his best in order to attract the smartest people from abroad to come to the country to help it upgrade the quality of the economic growth.
«We need a new breakthrough, a new program, a new cause that would give additional impetus to the economic development in Kazakhstan,» the Head of State added.
President Tokayev also highlighted that as many other countries in the world Kazakhstan is strongly concerned about terrorism and constantly contributes to the fight against this global threat.
«We contribute a lot in order to jointly fight against terrorism. I would like to mention that last year we succeeded to conduct three humanitarian operations to bring back our people from Syria and Iraq. In this respect, we are very much grateful to the Government of the United States. And, of course, we are closely working with the United Nations institutions, with the appropriate governments and special services all over the world. Our contribution is very strong and we are absolutely committed to this task,» he noted.
The Head of State continued by adding Kazakhstan is very much positive to the format which is called Central Asia +1 (C5+1).
«We believe that this format will be extremely helpful in terms of bringing safety and security to our region that is why we welcome the United States’ participation as well as the participation of Japan, South Korea and other appropriate countries,» he said.
«As to Afghanistan, we strongly believe that Afghanistan is a part of Central Asia. On the bilateral basis, we are doing a lot in order to make our countries closer. Kazakhstan provides humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. We are educating 1,000 young people from Afghanistan in our universities. We are also providing scholarships to Afghan women. I believe that the perspective of our cooperation is bright,» President Tokayev added.
It is worth mentioning that Geography Matters: An Update on Central Asia panel discussion was broadcast live from Munich.
President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev paid a two-day working visit to Germany to attend the 56th Munich Security Conference and hold bilateral meetings with heads of state and government as well as German businessmen on the margins of the conference.