League of Arab States increases cooperation with Kazakhstan15 may 2014, 13:20
Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrissov proposed setting up a regional office of the League of Arab States (LAS) in Central Asia with headquarters in Almaty, Tengrinews reports citing the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan.
"Given the increasing mutual interest, the next step is to open a regional office of the Arab League in Central Asia with headquarters in Almaty, which we want to transform into a humanitarian hub of the UN in the future," Idrissov said at the First Session of the Arab Cooperation and Economic Forum with Central Asia and the Republic of Azerbaijan that took place in Riyadh.
As a result of the Session, Riyadh Declaration was adopted. Participants also signed a memorandum on economic cooperation between the Arab League, the Central Asian countries and Azerbaijan, laying thereby the foundation for the institutionalization of dialogue between the parties.
Minister Idrissov noted that there was a great potential for mutually beneficial cooperation amid the economic policies currently pursued by Kazakhstan. He specifically mentioned the planned adoption of a legislative package to stimulate foreign direct investment, creation of the Eurasian Economic Union, development and promotion of the green economy with its regions-oriented program Green Bridge, as well as the ongoing preparations to the host the EXPO-2017 in Astana.
The Minister called for an increase in the volumes of trade between the Arab States, Central Asia and Azerbaijan. "It is interesting to study the possibility of establishing joint chambers of commerce and business councils. Of key importance is the development of the North-South and East-West transport corridors," he said. The importance of the upcoming start of operation of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway was also mentioned. Idrissov emphasized the necessity to continue developing transportation infrastructure between Kazakhstan and the Arab world.
During the forum, bilateral meetings were held between Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry and the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, and Tunisia. Talks with the Arab League secretary general Nabil al-Arabi were also held to discuss strengthening cooperation between Kazakhstan and the organization.
Embassies of such Arab states as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Qatar, Jordan, Iraq, Oman, Libya, and Lebanon are operating on the territory of Kazakhstan. Palestine also has its embassy in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan's diplomatic missions are present in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, UAE, Oman, and Lebanon.
Writing by Dinara Urazova