Kazakh delegation attends meeting of heads of state and government on Afghanistan in Chicago

Kazakhstan Materials 22 May 2012 09:40 (UTC +04:00)

Kazakhstan, Astana, May 22 / Trend D.Mukhtarov /

In Chicago, the delegation of Kazakhstan headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Yerzhan Kazykhanov attended the meeting of Heads of State and Government on Afghanistan in the framework of Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the press service of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said.

At a meeting, chaired by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the participants discussed three main topics: the completion of military operations in Afghanistan, subsequent transfer of security responsibility to Afghan national forces and the definition of a new role of international community in stabilizing the situation in this country.

U.S. President Barack Obama delivering a welcome speech stressed the importance of the efforts of the international community to stabilize Afghanistan and to promote its socio-economic development.

Stressing the importance of promoting regional trade and economic cooperation with Afghanistan, the Kazakh foreign minister expressed willingness of his country to continue to promote economic and humanitarian rehabilitation and to supply grain to Afghanistan, for example, through such international organizations as FAO and the World Food Programme.

Kazykhanov also urged summit participants to strengthen the fight against drug trafficking from Afghanistan, since without solution to this problem there can not be a successful counter-terrorism. In this regard, he noted the Central Asian Regional Information Coordination Center created in Almaty with the assistance of the United Nations.

During the summit Kazykhanov held several bilateral meetings, in particular, with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Finland, Japan, EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Ashton, as well as other colleagues to discuss the status and prospects of cooperation with these important political trade and economic partners of Kazakhstan. During a meeting with NATO Deputy Secretary General Vershbow appreciation was expressed to Kazakhstan for the support of ISAF and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

A meeting was held between foreign ministers of Central Asian countries and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, during which they discussed issues of regional security and cooperation. Panetta praised the contribution of Central Asian countries in stabilizing Afghanistan. The meeting participants noted the great role of Kazakhstan in the economic reconstruction of Afghanistan. Kazakhstan supplies grain, fuel to Afghanistan, builds socio-economic facilities and trains Afghan students in Kazakh universities, encourages the participation of Kabul in regional trade, investment and infrastructure projects.

In general, participation in the Chicago summit emphasized the role of Kazakhstan as a responsible member of the international community, actively supporting efforts to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan, including as chairman of the IOC and the CSTO.