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Senate Speaker highlights reforms, cooperation with China and Russia at the Munich Conference

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, has taken part in the annual Munich Security Conference.

This year’s conference agenda focused on the future of transatlantic relations, as well as NATO, cooperation in security and defense matters, the war in Syria, the security situation in the Asia-Pacific and other important topics. Participants also discussed terrorism, information warfare and major threats to global health and climate security.

Around 600 guests, including more than 30 heads of state and government, as well as parliamentary speakers, ministers, diplomats, military personnel and other experts took part in the event. Among the most prominent speakers were German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, US Vice President Mike Pence and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Chairman of the Kazakh Senate took part in the panel discussion on "The Fault Lines of Eurasia" moderated by Ian Bremmer, the president and founder of the “Eurasia Group”. Other panel participants included the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid, Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili and former Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

In his opening remarks, Mr Tokayev stressed the importance of building reliable and friendly relations between the countries of the region. He noted that Kazakhstan has no territorial issues with any of its neighboring countries, since all the state borders were completely delimited, including the world’s longest land border between Kazakhstan and Russia. Mr Tokayev noted that the Chinese project of "One Belt, One Road" offers great opportunities for regional economic cooperation, including for the growth of transit potential and creating new industrial capacities in the countries of Eurasia. The Speaker stressed that Russia has an important role in this cooperation.

The Senate Chairman elaborated on the process of reforms in Kazakhstan, carried out under the direction of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Kazakhstan is a reformist country. We strongly believe that we should not stop the transformation of our society either in economic areas or in the political domain. Structural reforms must go on in any circumstances so that Kazakhstan could advance towards the 30 most developed countries in the world”, Mr Tokayev said.

The speaker also informed about Kazakhstan's priorities as a member of the United Nations Security Council for 2017-2018. He said that the country places an emphasis on cooperation with the United Nations as an indispensable, universal global organization. Mr Tokayev singled out the problem of the proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear materials, in particular, the threat of their falling into the hands of terrorist organizations. Kazakhstan, according to Mr Tokayev, will continue its support of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, as well as actively working in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

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