King of Jordan Awarded Nazarbayev Prize for Peace Efforts

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev awarded King Abdullah II of Jordan the inaugural Nazarbayev Prize for a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World and Global Security during a Nov. 1 official state visit by the king.

The Jordanian monarch was decorated for his input into “regional stability, global security and steadfast stance against war and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”

The Nazarbayev Prize for a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World and Global Security was established in 2016. Its objective is to urge international actors to pursue more vigorously efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

Kazakhstan has actively promoted nuclear disarmament. After independence Kazakhstan renounced and decommissioned its nuclear arsenal, the world’s fourth largest at that time. In 2009, Kazakhstan and its four neighbours established the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone (CANWFZ) under the Treaty of Semipalatinsk. Kazakhstan works with other countries, such as Jordan, to establish non-nuclear zones in another regions, especially in the Middle East. In addition, a low-enriched uranium bank under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency has opened in Kazakhstan this year, which contributes to the strengthening of the security of the international nuclear fuel cycle and to nuclear non-proliferation.

“This award is in recognition of your contributions and manifestation of hope that as conflicts rage you would continue with a peace-making role, which brings people closer,” the Kazakh President said.

Nazarbayev specifically noted Jordan’s acceptance of up to 1.3 million refugees since the Syrian crisis began more than six years ago, as well as Amman’s involvement in the Astana Process peace talks on Syria. Jordan’s contribution to peace process between Israel and Palestine was also noted.

Expressing his gratitude for the award, King Abdullah commended President Nazarbayev’s role in promoting nuclear disarmament and seeking a peaceful resolution for international conflicts. “We value what you do to make this world a better and safer place. Your leadership is important for all of us,” he said.

According to the monarch, “this award is for the entire people of Jordan.” His office added that the prize money would go to support excelling Jordanian students in public schools.

The Kazakh and Jordanian leaders also discussed international issues, including the war in Syria, the situation in Iraq, the diplomatic crisis around Qatar, as well as the fight against terrorism and joint efforts to promote religious tolerance and nuclear non-proliferation.

The visit by the King of Jordan came a day after the seventh high-level international meeting on Syria concluded in the Kazakh capital. Jordan participated as an observer during the talks.

“As a result of the Astana Process talks the level of violence in Syria diminished significantly, as the local population have a chance to return to peaceful life,” said Nazarbayev.

President Nazarbayev and King Abdullah also discussed ways to strengthen existing co-operation in all areas, including renewable energy, agriculture, pharmaceutics, defence industry, transport and logistics.