Kazakh President: Withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan not to cause catastrophe in Central Asia (UPDATE)
Update (1st version published at 10:58)
Kazakhstan, Astana, April 25 / Trend D.Mukhtarov /
Withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan in 2014 will not lead to catastrophic consequences for Central Asia, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev believes.
"Our Central Asia region as with the world in general, enters a period of change and the problems of regional security in the global dimension are very crucial. I would like to say that I do not accept the catastrophic theories that we hear from different sides. I do not believe that the time of a countdown has been set approaching hour X when withdrawal of coalition forces from Afghanistan will begin in 2014," Nazarbayev said at the opening of the 11th Eurasian Media Forum in Astana on Thursday.
According to Nazarbayev, the mission of the coalition forces in Afghanistan could bring positive results.
"The immediate threat in the region has been significantly reduced and localised. Though there are problems in the process of an intra-Afghan settlement, there are positive changes as well," Nazarbayev said.
"I always emphasise the importance of the measures taken by the international community that are aimed at post-conflict peace building and development of the Afghan economy. Since 1979, a civil war has continued in that unfortunate country and a man born 30 years ago has held nothing in his hand but a rifle. Considering the low education level of the population, it is necessary to return Afghan people to labour and we have to help to restore the economy of this country ...," the President said.
According to him Kazakhstan is ready to offer its services for the organisation of a new international platform for the solution to this problem.
The President of Kazakhstan also believes that the perception of the Central Asian region from outside is characterised by a strong inertia from the past due to an archaic approach of some experts, the media and politicians.
"Some do not see, or do not want to see the changed realities of our Central Asian region. Central Asia is not no man's land but a new dynamically developing sub region of Eurasia and the world. Kazakhstan and other countries of the region have proven their ability to sovereign and dignified development," Nazarbayev said.
According to Nazarbayev the Central Asian region should not be considered as an object of external influence without taking into account national interests. According to him such an approach is nothing but a demonstration of geopolitical short-sightedness.
"Central Asia is a civilizational communion of people deserving great prospects for the future. The peculiarity of the region is that it is not just newly revived countries, but those with a qualitatively new population, revived culture and a new independent spirit," Nazarbayev said.