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Kazakhstan-Jordan: 30 years of friendship and cooperation

Feb 06,2023 - Last updated at Feb 06,2023

Kazakhstan and Jordan have a lot in common. Both of our countries, thanks to their people and the adopted model of international relations, are tolerant states that have accumulated remarkable experience in consolidating the idea of peaceful coexistence and combating violence and religious extremism. Our countries are distinguished by the presence of traditions of hospitality and friendliness, which were laid down by our ancestors and swept through the centuries.

During the difficult war years of the WWII, Kazakhstan became home to several million representatives of the peoples of the Caucasus and other nationalities, deported and found themselves in difficult living conditions, without a roof over their heads, food and livelihoods. And despite the hard times, Kazakhstan accepted and adopted these people with open arms, giving them the opportunity to continue to live. Today, many of these peoples gratefully call Kazakhstan their second homeland. We can see the same picture today in Jordan, which hosts hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, Palestine, Iraq and other countries on its generous land.

It should be noted that in both our countries, mosques and churches are side by side, which indicates that our peoples have lofty and bright principles of tolerance.

With this in mind, Kazakhstan and Jordan can become a kind of cultural and historical bridge connecting the Middle East and Central Asia, through which our regions can establish mutually beneficial multifaceted cooperation in various sectors.

The interactions of our peoples are rooted in the deep past. As you know, a native of the Kazakh tribe "Bersh" Mamluk Sultan Zahir Beybars also lived in Jordan. It is well known about his role in the reconstruction of the castles of Karak and Ajlun.

From the first day of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries, we have been united by the closeness or identity of positions on major global and regional issues. Our countries are effectively interacting on multilateral platforms, including through the UN, OIC, CICA, closely coordinating their actions to resolve pressing international problems. Today, Jordan is one of the most promising partners of Kazakhstan in the Arab world. Undoubtedly, such an example of cooperation became possible thanks to the strategic views of the leaders of our countries.

Today, Kazakh-Jordanian relations are developing dynamically. In 2006 and 2009, two official visits of the First President of Kazakhstan His Excellency Nursultan Nazarbayev to Jordan took place. In turn, His Majesty King Abdullah visited Kazakhstan seven times.

During his last official visit to Kazakhstan, which took place on October 31 — November 1, 2017, King Abdullah was awarded the "Nursultan Nazarbayev Prize for his contribution to a world without nuclear weapons and global security". President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and His Majesty the King also met on the sidelines of the 74th and 77th sessions of the UN General Assembly in 2019 and 2022 in New York.

Bilateral -parliamentary ties are also actively developing. Thus, the heads of both chambers of the Jordan Parliament participated in the Fourth Meeting of Speakers of the Parliaments of the Eurasian Countries, which was held on September 23-24, 2019 in Astana.

Being a country supporting tolerance in interfaith relations, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan actively participates in the work of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, which is an important international platform created to develop dialogue between world confessions.

On June 10-11, 2015, King Abdullah participated in the V Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. The VII Congress, which took place in September 2022, was attended by a Jordanian delegation headed by the Director of the Royal Institute for Interreligious Studies Rene Hattar.

Kazakhstan, as well as Jordan, supports all international efforts aimed at resolving the Syrian crisis. We know that the Kingdom, as a neighbouring country, has a great responsibility to receive and accommodate hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. In this context, Kazakhstan provides assistance for Syrian refugees in Jordan, namely we provided humanitarian assistance to the Office of UNHCR for the Syrians living in the Zaatari Camp. Moreover, we appreciate the role of Jordan, which has been actively participating as an observer in the Astana process and makes a significant contribution to resolving the conflict in Syria.

Today, Kazakhstan and Jordan are engaged in constructive cooperation in frame of international and regional organisations, supporting each other’s international initiatives.

We are actively cooperating with Jordan within UN. Jordan constantly supports of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia (CICA) and the current Kazakh chairmanship. This organisation continues its consistent policy of strengthening security in Asia, including within the framework of this platform.

Both Kazakhstan and Jordan, being members of the Muslim community, closely cooperate within the framework of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Our country is interested in investment, trade and economic cooperation with Jordan. However, for a number of objective reasons, the current volume of trade is at a low level. The main reason is the lack of fast and cheap logistics routes between our countries. We look forward to develop a specific mechanism for the delivery of goods from the two countries with the involvement of large logistics companies.

I am confident that we could not stay with this situation and must take active measures to build effective trade corridors. This is fully in line with our plans to diversify trade and economic ties, especially taking into account the territorial and historical proximity of our regions.

A significant role in the development of trade and economic relations is played by the Kazakh-Jordan Intergovernmental Committee on Trade, Economic, Cultural and Humanitarian Cooperation. We hope that the upcoming fifth meeting of the intergovernmental commission in Amman in 2023 with the participation of business circles will have positive impact on expanding trade, economic and investment cooperation between our countries. Moreover, the establishment of direct contacts between the business communities of the two countries will contribute to a fuller disclosure of the ample opportunities of mutual cooperation in various spheres.

Taking into account the growing interest of our tourists in the Jordanian destination due to the abundance of historical sites, we need to work on the liberalisation of the visa regime and the opening of direct flights between our countries.

Based on the potentially developed sectors of the Kazakhstan’s economy, the agriculture, innovations and digitalisation can become possible areas for the development of bilateral trade, economic and investment cooperation.

Another promising area of cooperation is food security. Kazakhstan is one of the world leaders in the export of wheat, and also has a huge potential in the field of agriculture. Therefore, Kazakhstan can offer the Jordanian side mutually beneficial cooperation through the creation of joint agricultural enterprises, investments in agricultural projects in Kazakhstan or cooperation in organising the supply of Kazakh grain, meat, flour to the markets of Jordan and the Middle East.

For its part, the Jordanian side could export vegetables and fruits, olive oil and Dead Sea products to Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan expects the soonest entry of the Kingdom into the Islamic Food Security Organisation of the OIC, created on the initiative of Kazakhstan and successfully functioning in the capital of our country, Astana. Within the framework of this organization, the parties could develop various projects aimed at solving food security issues in the area of the OIC member countries.

Jordan is a leader of the Arab world in the development of renewable energy and our countries could establish promising cooperation in implementation of “green energy" projects. 

No one doubts that in the coming decades, the economic development of states will be determined primarily by the level of innovation and digitalisation of the financial sector and other sectors of the economy and business. In this regard, we believe that Kazakhstan and Jordan could establish close cooperation in the field of digitalisation, which is in line with the course announced by King Abdullah, for economic modernisation.

I am sure that relations between Kazakhstan and Jordan in the political, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres are developing on the rise and there are all prerequisites for their activation in the future. I am confident that friendly relations between our countries will continue to be strengthened in the spirit of mutually beneficial cooperation aimed at the prosperity of the peoples of the two countries.

It should be expected that at the next stage there will be greater rapprochement between our countries within the framework of a stable political dialogue, expansion of economic, cultural and humanitarian ties.

 

Aidarbek Toumatov is the ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Jordan

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