President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev underscored Kazakhstan’s commitment to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as a reliable member state at an Aug. 11 meeting with Bujar Osmani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of North Macedonia and OSCE Chairman-in-Office in Astana. The President stressed that the OSCE is irreplaceable despite the divisions that unfortunately exist within the organization, emphasizing the need to maintain its potential.
According to Tokayev, it is vital to ensure that the OSCE continues to serve as a unique platform for dialogue ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act in 2025, an agreement signed by 35 nations that concluded the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe held in Helsinki, Finland. “Our strong partnership with the OSCE is based on the shared vision of building a secure community, enshrined in the Astana Declaration of the 2010 OSCE Summit,” he said.
Elaborating on the prospects for strengthening relations between the two countries, the President noted that North Macedonia is a very important partner of Kazakhstan in Europe, with quite significant results achieved in expanding cooperation. Tokayev also informed that Kazakhstan decided to open its embassy in the North Macedonian capital, Skopje. Osmani emphasized that the OSCE attaches great importance to the development of relations with Kazakhstan and Central Asia, pointing out the country’s key role in both regional and interregional cooperation.
He stated that Kazakhstan’s reform agenda resonates not only with the principles and commitments of the OSCE, but also with the priorities of North Macedonia, whose slogan “Everything for the people” reflects a human-centered approach. According to Osmani, the OSCE summit in Astana in 2010 demonstrated the active role of Kazakhstan in supporting the main activities of the organization. Osmani also met with the Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Foreign Affairs Murat Nurtleu.
He outlined the North Macedonian priorities at the OSCE and shared the Chairmanship-in-Office vision of the further development of the Organization. He highlighted the relevance of the goals and objectives outlined in the 2010 Astana Declaration, especially in terms of building a common and indivisible Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security community. In turn, Nurtleu emphasized the Organization’s role as an important negotiating platform for resolving crisis situations in the OSCE area.
He confirmed that Kazakhstan will keep contributing to the strengthening of the OSCE and providing further assistance to the Chairmanship-in-Office. The parties also discussed the most promising areas of bilateral collaboration, including transport, logistics, agriculture, mining and tourism. Given that both countries do not have access to the sea, the parties confirmed their interest in developing new trade routes. Nurtleu and Osmani also discussed the possibility of signing a bilateral agreement on exemption from visa requirements for citizens of the two countries. A separate topic of the conversation was the preparation for the upcoming meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the member states of the OSCE, scheduled for later this year in Skopje. According to Kazakhstan’s customs statistics, the trade turnover between Kazakhstan and North Macedonia for 2022 reached $9.3 million (export – $7.3m, import – $2m), 5.5 times higher than in 2021.
Share this article: