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Kazakhstan marks anniversary of 1st international pact

Country marks anniversary of cooperation agreement signed with Turkey during Soviet period

Meiramgul Kussainova   | 16.03.2021
Kazakhstan marks anniversary of 1st international pact

NUR SULTAN, Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan marked the anniversary Monday of the signing of its first international agreement. 

On March 15, 1991, an agreement on cooperation between the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic and the Republic of Turkey was signed in the capital Almaty by then-President Nursultan Nazarbayev and President Turgut Ozal.

Ozal, Turkey’s eighth president, with his two-day official visit that started 30 years ago today, became the first foreign leader to pay a visit to independent Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry on the occasion of the anniversary shared photographs of the visit as well as informative notes on the agreement between the two countries.

A Turkish delegation headed by Ozal and including former Foreign Minister Ahmet Kurtcebe Alptemocin, Culture Minister Namik Kemal Zeybek and Turkey’s former ambassador to USSR Volkan Vural came to Almaty at the invitation of Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s founding president.

As part of the two-day visit, Ozal and Nazarbayev discussed cooperation between the brotherly countries in the fields of trade, economy, science, technology and culture.

In particular, they discussed the perspectives of using Turkish experience in the transition to a market economy in Kazakhstan and establishing joint facilities in mechanical engineering, light industry and mining.

In the meeting, special attention was also paid to expanding cultural ties between the two countries, holding regular meetings between artists and intellectuals.

The agreement signed on March 15, 1991, consisting of 11 articles, expressed the desire to further expand and deepen long-term cooperation in political, commercial, economic, scientific and technical, cultural and humanitarian fields among peoples who shared a common culture, language, spiritual heritage and traditions.

It went down in history as Kazakhstan's first international agreement despite being under Soviet Union administration.

An article written by Akmaral Aristanbekova, the foreign minister and ambassador-at-large at the time, said: "Our intention to sign a comprehensive cooperation agreement [between Turkey and Kazakhstan] was not received well by the Foreign Ministry of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics."

"The ministry representative said that we do not have such a right. I stated that this is the decision of the president of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic and that we have the right to do so in accordance with Article 14 of the Declaration of State Sovereignty," Aristanbekova added.

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