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Kazakhstan is calling Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security organizations to interact

18 september 2012, 14:53
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Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev. ©REUTERS
Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev. ©REUTERS
Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev is advocating a platform for Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security cooperation, Kommersant magazine writes. Astana hopes to create a platform for interaction of important regional security organizations like SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization), NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) and CICA (Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia).

The President talked about creation of the platform during the anniversary meeting of Foreign Ministers of CICA member countries hosted by Kazakhstan in Astana. Besides the name of the new structure Nazarbayev did not give any further details, goals or potential participants.

According to the source close to the President’s Administration, Nazarbayev has in mind a platform that would unite representatives of the UN (United Nations), OSCE, CICA, NATO, CSTO, SCO, EU (European Union) and CIS (Commonwealth of the Independent States), i.e. the most important organizations dealing with security issues in Eurasian and Euro-Atlantic space. The idea of creating this interaction mechanism for these structures that frequently duplicate each others functions emerged in Astana at the time of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the OSCE in 2010. The draft project was completed only in August 2012.

“In spite of the variety of platforms, organizations and unions in Euro-Atlantic space, and Eurasian space, the potential of cooperation in resolution of security issues is scarcely used. Our idea is called to fill this gap. We are not talking about creating another ponderous structure with a secretariat and disputes over a hierarchy of priorities. The new mechanism has to be flexible and result-oriented,” the speaker said.

Besides, the concept’s authors do not preclude that the platform will become a full-scale organization in future, but initially they suggest its members to just start communicating with each other on the sidelines of the existing forums, e.g. UN General Assembly and at special summits in future. Kazakhstan’s administration promises to present the calendar of possible meetings by the year end.

Being asked how this initiative can be beneficial to Astana, the speaker said: “It is important for Kazakhstan to influence processes of multilateral platforms without putting up claims to become a world power. Besides, the project will help Kazakhstan improve its international image.”

The magazine also writes that Russia frostily reacted to Kazakhstan’s initiative. “We welcome any suggestions called to improve the work of international organizations and enhance the connection between them. However, considering the previous efforts on establishment of such cooperation, I can say that this is not an easy task,” the magazine’s diplomatic source in Moscow said.

He also reminded that CSTO has made no attempts to move closer to NATO in the last few years, in particular, to jointly counter Afghan drug-trafficking. North-Atlantic Alliance itself has expressed no interest in “making friends with blocks”. According to the magazine’s source in NATO headquarters, Astana’s suggestion is “not bad” but “unrealistic”.

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