H.E. Mr. Yerzhan Ashikbayev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, visited Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Benin late last month, meeting with officials and participating in the UN-backed Ministerial Conference on New Partnerships for Productive Capacity Building in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
The purpose of the visits was to intensify bilateral cooperation and to expand political, economic, cultural and humanitarian contacts between Kazakhstan and the countries of Africa – a goal that Kazakhstan will continue to work towards.
The Deputy Minister met with the President of Senegal, H.E. Mr. Macky Sall, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Senegal, H.E. Mr. Mankeur Ndiaye, in Dakar on July 23rd-24th, as both sides expressed their intention to build long-term partnerships that will serve as a model for relations between Kazakhstan and the countries of Western Africa.
The next day Mr. Ashikbayev held meetings in Abidjan with the President of the National Assembly of Côte d’Ivoire, H.E. Mr. Guillaume Soro, and the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Charles Koffi Diby. Both parties discussed issues of bilateral and multilateral cooperation, together with the peacekeeping activities of Kazakhstan and the prospect of mutual cooperation within the framework of the U.N.
On 28th July, Mr. Ashikbayev met the President of Benin, H.E. Mr. Yayi Boni, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Benin, H.E. Dr. Nassirou Bako-Arifari. Both sides expressed interest in expanding bilateral ties, and on July 29th the Minister attended the LDCs Conference in Cotonou, Benin, held with the intention of strengthening cooperation between the LDCs and their partners.
The participants expressed serious concerns about the cutting of aid, and discussed the programme of development for poorer countries in the post-2015 period. Participants concluded that the increase of global support through humanitarian assistance, investment and access to the world market could help increase the performance of goods and services, and improve the efficiency of trade in the LDCs.
In an official press release, the Republic of Kazakhstan stated that it will continue to prioritise the expansion of relations with the nations of the African continent, as well as the development of political and economic cooperation with them, including within the framework of the African Union.