Kazakh FM Meets Austrian President, Attends OSCE Meeting

Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Kairat Abdrakhmanov met with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, and attended the 24th Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) during a Dec. 6-8 visit to Vienna.

The Austrian President praised Kazakhstan’s hosting of EXPO 2017 and peacekeeping efforts, including to de-escalate the conflict in Syria. He also noted Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s nuclear non-proliferation leadership, according to the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The two officials also discussed bilateral cooperation within international organisations and Kazakh – European Union cooperation under the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA).

Abdrakhmanov met with the Kazakh-Austrian society’s leadership, Kazakhstan honorary consuls in Austria and Slovenia and Austrian economic officials and businesspeople. The talks focused on reforms, outlined in President Nazarbayev’s address to the nation “The Third Modernisation of Kazakhstan: Global Competitiveness” and “Rukhani Janghyru” programme.

At the Dec. 7-8 24th OSCE Ministerial Council session on the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian challenges, Abdrakhmanov noted the importance of the Astana Declaration of the 2010 OSCE Summit.

In his remarks to colleagues from the other 56 OSCE participating states as well as 11 partners, the diplomat pointed out the importance of dialogue and cooperation in conflict prevention and outlined Kazakhstan’s priorities as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and mediation efforts in the Eurasian region. He also presented the Kazakh President’s initiatives to create a Global Anti-Terrorist Coalition and the Code of Conduct on Global Action against Terrorism and Extremism and called for steps to strengthen OSCE cooperation with the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation that will be chaired by Kazakhstan in 2018.

Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov also spoke at the Dec. 7 24th OSCE Ministerial Council session on the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian challenges.

Abdrakhmanov praised the launch of dialogue on military challenges meant to restore confidence in arms control talks within the OSCE region with a view to preventing the growth of military activity and the increases in the concentration of troops and, therefore, the danger of military incidents, confirming Kazakhstan’s willingness to actively participate in it.

“The OSCE can promote greater compatibility between regional economic and integration processes and, ultimately, lead to the formation of a single economic space from the Atlantic to the Pacific,” he said.

Abdrakhmanov also praised Secretary General Thomas Greminger’s initiative to create thematic OSCE missions.

On the sidelines of the Vienna ministerial, the Kazakh minister attended an informal meeting of CSTO foreign ministers who discussed the OSCE Agenda and CSTO-OSCE cooperation. Kazakhstan urged cooperation on countering terrorism, cybersecurity and combating illicit drug trafficking.

Abdrakhmanov also discussed bilateral and multilateral cooperation with the heads of delegations from Austria, Italy, Macedonia, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Estonia and the European Union.

Talking to the European partners, the Kazakh minister stressed the need to simplify the visa regime.

The spectrum of Kazakh-Austrian relations was also discussed during the meeting with the OSCE Chair-in-Office – Austria’s Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs Sebastian Kurz. Special attention was paid to the development of economic interaction with an emphasis on trade diversification, as well as legal cooperation, including establishing direct contacts between law enforcement agencies, signing of bilateral treaties and the accession of Kazakhstan to the legal instruments of the Council of Europe.

Abdrakhmanov also congratulated Kurz for the victory of his Austrian People’s Party at the parliamentary elections in October, wished him success in forming a new government and invited him to visit Kazakhstan.

He also held talks with Secretary General of European External Action Service Helga Schmid on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear programme, the situation in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

While in Vienna, Abdrakhmanov also met with Lassina Zerbo, executive secretary of the preparatory commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO).