‘Qatar-Kazakhstan bilateral relation to strengthen further’
May 27 2019 01:07 AM
Kazakhstan ambassador Askar Shokybayev. PICTURE: Nasar TK

Bilateral ties between Qatar and Kazakhstan, particularly in the field of trade and investments, are expected to strengthen further as the latter prepares for upcoming election next month, Kazakhstan ambassador Askar Shokybayev has said. The envoy noted that Kazakhstan will hold a presidential election on June 9 – also the first time in nearly 30 years that a new president will be elected.
“This (election) is especially relevant to Qatar as one of Kazakhstan’s main partners in the Gulf region,” Shokybayev said, citing “increased attention and assistance on developing bilateral relations between the two countries.”
He added that Qatar and Kazakhstan are looking forward to boost trade and investment ties, apart from other important sectors such as direct flights, and tourism and travel.  
The envoy said Doha and Nur-Sultan, the capital city of Kazakhstan, are also “permanently and sustainably supporting each other’s initiatives on the international arena.”
“The results of the presidential election will be officially confirmed by June 16. Active work will then begin to continue to develop close ties between Kazakhstan and Qatar,” Shokybayev said. “We have every reason to be confident about the future and the co-operation between our countries.”
He described the election as promising to be the most competitive and diverse in Kazakhstan’s history as an independent nation. 
A total of seven presidential candidates have been registered by the Central Election Commission, including the first female candidate Daniya Yespayeva from the Ak Zhol party. “It would be a fair assessment to say that our wider region is heavily male-dominated when it comes to politics. However, over many years, Kazakhstan has taken concrete steps to improve gender equality and to promote women’s role in business and politics,” the envoy said. “We are now witnessing the fruits of this labour.”
He noted that Yespayeva is the Senate Chairwoman, while the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Education and Science are also female, as well as approximately a quarter of the Members of Parliament in Kazakhstan. 
“Kazakhstan is once again demonstrating that it is going beyond the general expectations and foregone conclusions,” the envoy said, reiterating that its President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev promised that the election will be transparent and to the highest expected standards. 
“The country can already offer concrete examples of the sincerity of this pledge. For example, presidential candidate Amirzhan Kossanov has been in opposition to the government for around two decades. He, and all candidates, are now openly campaigning in the hope of securing people’s votes,” Shokybayev said.
He said that Kazakhstan has always welcomed observers and their constructive feedback during previous elections, and this time, more than 1,000 international observers from 10 international organisations, as well as foreign countries, are expected to be in Kazakhstan for the election. 
The Kazakhstan government invited the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Commonwealth of Independent States, and several other organisations. Their missions are now deploying across the country. 
“The upcoming vote is not just important to Kazakhstan but also to our neighbours and partners all over the world,” the envoy said. 
“As is known, Kazakhstan has been actively participating in global affairs, including, most recently, the resolution of the Syrian conflict. From an economic perspective, our government has also been vigorously improving Kazakhstan’s investment climate, making us the number one investment destination in the region,” he added.

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