Kazakh Defence Minister meets with NATO Special Representative for Caucasus and Central Asia

Kazakh Defence Minister meets with NATO Special Representative for Caucasus and Central Asia

Kazakhstan, Astana, March 27 / A. Mukhtarov /

Today in Astana, Kazakhstan's Defence Minister Adilbek Dzhaksybekov met with the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the NATO for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai and a new NATO officer on interaction with Central Asia Alexander Vinnikov, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Kazakhstan informed Trend.

"The Ministry of Defence welcomes the resumption of the activity of the officer on interaction in the region. I am sure it will contribute to the effective coordination of our cooperation with the Alliance," said Adilbek Dzhaksybekov.

Training of peacekeeping units in order to ensure their interoperability is the priority of Kazakhstan in cooperation with NATO. Practical aspects are aimed at the development of the national peace-building potential, participation in the joint exercises and exchange of experience in planning, implementation and comprehensive support of peacekeeping operations," the Kazakh Defence Minister noted.

"Kazakhstan is the most active partner of NATO in the region. The North Atlantic Alliance is appreciative of the training level of the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan. We are interested in further enhancement of bilateral defence cooperation and will provide our full support," James Appathurai said.

The annual 'Steppe Eagle' peacekeeping exercise is conducted on the territory of Kazakhstan with the participation of its military officers and representatives of foreign countries. In September 2012, the exercise was first conducted in the spirit of 'Partnership for Peace' with participation of units of the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan, the U.S., UK, Tajikistan, as well as representatives from Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, France, Switzerland and Ukraine.

"We are interested in increasing the participation of units of NATO member states and partner countries in the exercise and are relying on the support of NATO in this issue," the minister noted.

In order to teach NATO standards and procedures to military officers at the Kazakhstan 'Partnership for Peace' training centre at the Military Institute of Land Forces (KAZCENT) more than 30 courses and seminars for military officers of are already being conducted. This is on the basis of KAZCENT including events such as courses on military terminology of English in multinational operations and NATO Military staff procedures.

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