05.04.16 – On Visits to Brussels, Washington and Havana, Kazakh President Promotes Security, Cooperation

Following a parliamentary election in Kazakhstan in late March, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev embarked on a series of official visits, culminating in an appearance at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington D.C. on April 1st.

Nazarbayev visited Brussels on March 30th for meetings with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, during which he emphasized the importance of his country’s relations with the European Union – one of the most important vectors of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy and a crucial trade partner – and invited EU member states to take part in the upcoming EXPO 2017 exhibition in Astana.

On March 31st he delivered a speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington D.C., in which he stated that “the building of a world without nuclear weapons must be the main goal of humanity in the 21st century”, and recalled Kazakhstan’s contributions to this goal over the past two decades.   A Manifest entitled “The World. The 21st Century” was distributed during the event and was later entered into the records of the United Nations.

Addressing the Nuclear Security Summit, President Nazarbayev stressed Astana’s commitment to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. He suggested that the summits should continue and that Kazakhstan should host a future edition of such an event, as “a token of appreciation for the country which shut down the nuclear test site and abandoned the world’s fourth largest nuclear arsenal.”

Around 50 heads of state and government from around the world and heads of around 10 international organizations, including the UN and the IAEA, attended the event. Leaders of 18 countries, including Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Norway, the Philippines, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the UAE, the UK and the USA issued a Joint Statement praising Kazakhstan’s “exemplary record of contributing to nuclear nonproliferation and international peace” and expressing their support for international efforts to establish an IAEA low-enriched uranium bank in Kazakhstan.

Following a Press Briefing at the conclusion of the Summit, President Nazarbayev wrapped up his official duties with a visit to Havana, the first by a Kazakh leader to Cuba, where he discussed areas of bilateral cooperation in a meeting with President Raul Castro.

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