Caption: Minister Kubuabola with Ambassador H.E. Mr Askhat T Orazbay. Photo: SUPPLIED.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Republic of Indonesia and Special Envoy, H.E. Mr Askhat T Orazbay paid a courtesy visit to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola in Suva this morning.
Fiji and Kazakhstan have been collaborating on a wide range of bilateral and multilateral matters through their Missions in New York. Minister Kubuabola invited Kazakhstan to consider the establishment of an Embassy of Kazakhstan in Suva that could be accredited to all the Pacific Islands countries.
Ambassador Orazbay informed the Minister that Kazakhstan is vying for a seat as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for 2017-2018 and is one of two Asia-Pacific nations to bid for the seat.
They discussed contemporary threats to security including food, water and energy security for possible articulation in the Security Council, if elected. Kazakhstan has been at the forefront of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and voluntarily gave up the world’s fourth largest nuclear arsenal.
Minister Kubuabola proposed Kazakhstan consider supporting Fiji in its peacekeeping efforts through logistical and equipment assistance. The Ambassador suggested this can be a successful and practical example of cooperation with tangible outcomes.
Minister Kubuabola also proposed that Kazakhstan consider providing scholarships for mine engineering and in other areas of strategic strengths.
A more elaborate Development Cooperation Agreement was also suggested by the Minister and the ideas were welcomed by the Ambassador. Further cooperation in sustainable energy, education, cultural exchange, tourism and security issues will continue to be part of ongoing dialogue. The Minister also brought the Ambassador’s attention to the Pacific Island Development Forum as an ideal mechanism to engage in development aspects with the whole of Pacific Island countries.
Minister Kubuabola visited Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, for the World Anti-Crisis Conference and the Astana Economic Forum in May 2013. Fiji established bilateral relations with Kazakhstan in June 2012. Fiji’s cooperation with Kazakhstan is a good example of constructive partnership in the spirit of mutual understanding and friendly cooperation which was proven when the Fijian Government supported the candidature of Astana to host the EXPO-2017.
Kazakhstan has expressed interest to develop strong cooperation with Fiji through various interactions and joint undertakings on various multilateral forums.
Kazakhstan is a modern, stable and rapidly developing Central Asian nation with a robust economy, high ranking on the Human development Index and a consistent foreign policy in support of a rule based international system with friendly relations with all countries. It shares borders with Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and the Caspian Sea.
It is well endowed with substantial natural resource deposits including oil, gas and is also a leading exporter of uranium. Kazakhstan is a member of several high level international organisations including Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Individual Partnership Action Plan, with NATO, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. Turkic Council and the TÜRKSOY community and UNESCO.