With the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan by 2014, role of the regional countries should increase in Afghanistan, particularly Kazakhstan’s potential economic and spiritual support is very important for Afghanistan.
Presently, more than two thousand Afghan citizens live in Kazakhstan. In addition, about 600 Afghan students study at Kazakhstan’s institutions of higher and semi-higher education.
Alongside the other social groups, some Afghans are living in Kazakhstan, whose role is as a bridge strengthening cultural and economic ties between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
They enjoy their full rights in Kazakhstan and have membership of nations of Kazakhstan’s councils. The Afghans, who have been living in Kazakhstan, speak Kazakh and Russian languages respectively. They have helped in forming mutual trade relations between the both countries of Afghanistan and Kazakhstan.
The commercial attaché of the Ministry of the Trade and Industry Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Afghan consulate is operating in Almaty – former capital of Kazakhstan. Meanwhile, the Afghan Embassy has been operating in Astana, the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
In recent years, political ties between the two countries have been significantly progressed. In these years, HE Hamid Karzai, the president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has visited Kazakhstan several times and met HE Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Kazakhstan. During these trips, both leaders have discussed and exchanged comments on important issues of Afghanistan and the region.
Furthermore, the Republic of Kazakhstan has supported Afghanistan in its bid to joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
The Republic of Kazakhstan is actively involved in helping to settle the crisis in Afghanistan, including making arrangements for the conference of ministers of the “Heart of Asia”, that will be held in Astana in the end of April 2013.
As part of the framework of regional cooperation on Afghanistan in Istanbul, Kazakhstan is contributing in the groups of confidence measures (CBMs), which include the education sectors, chambers of commerce and industry, regional infrastructure, regional development, fighting drugs and disaster management.
The Joint commission of the two countries on economic and trade cooperation continues its task. The fifth session of the commission as held this year in Almaty. On September 26-27, 2012, during which the participants considered the results of joint activities and set the future plans.
As a result of the activities of the commission, the two countries signed an agreement on encouraging and supporting Investment, which undoubtedly would be a sound legal foundation for the the investments between the two countries.
In September, an exhibition of Afghan products was held in south capital of the Kazakhstan, in which the commercial opportunities and facilities of Afghan manufacturers were on display.
Currently, the office of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan is representing in Kabul. The Kazakh companies are participating in the bidding process for exploration and mining in Afghanistan and refurbishing the power projects in the provinces of the country.
The educational programme of Kazakhstan for Afghan youth is showing its share and commitment in the efforts for stabilizing and progress of Afghanistan. After they return back home, the experts who are studying in the Republic of Kazakhstan, will work for the sake of Afghanistan’s future.
Kazakhstan continues its economic assistance to Afghanistan. As an example, the country has financed the reconstruction of the Taliqan-Kunduz-Shir Khan Bandar. A high school in Dare Suf district of Samangan and the hospital in Waras of Bamiyan are being built.
In addition, as part of Kazakhstan’s humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people, food staple such as rice, flour and milk have been distributed among the needy people.
Such assistances are indicating close relations between Kazakhstan and Afghanistan, of which development is being pushed forward under direct supervision of the first President of Kazakhstan, HE Nursultan Nazarbayev.
In the meanwhile, as a result of the wise national and foreign policies of Kazakhstan’s leadership, the country has developed friendly economic and political relations with the regional powers, neighboring Kazakhstan, such as China and Russia. Furthermore, the United States is committed to security of Kazakhstan.
Since gaining independence under leadership of the President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan has experienced stability, facing no religious and ethnic unrest. This is while some regional countries have suffered from such social instability. It is notable that the December 1, the people of Kazakhstan, for the first time, will celebrate the Day of First honorable President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.