Kazakh Senate Speaker Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev on the Trans-Asian Parliamentary Forum, Kyrgyz events and his opinion on the Great Victory
Almaty is to hold the Trans-Asian Parliamentary Forum entitled "The Eurasian Dimension of the OSCE" on 14-16 May. In anticipation of this event, Interfax-Kazakhstan has spoken to the head of the forum's organizing committee, Kazakhstan's Senate Speaker and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Vice-President Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev.
- Mr Tokayev, are such forums traditional for the OSCE?
- The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly does hold similar forums in
various regions. But I can say without any exaggeration that the OSCE has a
particular interest for Central Asia.
A similar forum under the OSCE auspices was held in Almaty in
2003. Even at that time it was clear that the Central Asian region had acquired
great significance in ensuring global security. Astana had held the 17th annual
session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in July 2008. The upcoming forum
will become a milestone for the Organization, as it has first been chaired by
the country that represents the entire post soviet space and the Central Asian
Region. Evidently, this was bound to have a positive impact on the Parliamentary
- What are the key issues on the forum's agenda? We would
like to learn more about its participants and speakersЕ
- The forum's name - The Eurasian Dimension of the OSCE - essentially
reflects Kazakhstan's OSCE Chairmanship program. The forum has been divided
into 3 major sessions. The first session is dedicated to regional security issues
and will discuss problems of combating terrorism and drug trafficking.
The second session will focus on issues of economic development,
trade, environmental security and labor migration. The third session will discuss
religious tolerance, political development, gender equality, human trafficking
issues. In other words it will cover "the Human dimension" problems.
Parliamentary delegations of the OSCE member states, the Organization's
Mediterranean and Asian partners have all shown a strong interest in the forum.
We expect to host over 250 delegates, most of them representing the parliaments
of more than 30 OSCE countries, as well as members of the European Parliament,
Interparliamentary Assemblies of the CIS and PACE. Diplomats from Afghanistan,
Pakistan and Jordan have also agreed to participate in the forum.
Representatives of major international organizations, research
institutions, the diplomatic corps have also responded to the invitation to
participate in the forum.
As for the major speakers, the forum will feature presentations by members of
the OSCE Office, the OSCE Secretary General, EurAsEC (Eurasian Economic Cooperation),
SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) and the CICA (Conference on Interaction
and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia). I believe that speeches by the Afghan
former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and Deputy Speaker of Afghanistan's
Lower House of Parliament Mirwais Yasini will attract great interest. The OSCE
Chairman-in-Office and Kazakhstan's Secretary of State and Foreign Minister
Kanat Saudabayev, who has put a lot of effort to strengthen the OSCE, will also
deliver a speech.
- Will there be any documents adopted as a result of the
- In accordance with the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly regulations,
official documents and resolutions can only be adopted upon the completion of
the Assembly's annual sessions, which are traditionally held in the first weeks
of July. The next session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will take place
in Oslo on 6-10 July. All ideas and initiatives, proposed at the Almaty forum,
can be reflected in separate resolutions, which will be adopted at the Assembly's
session in the capital of Norway.
- Will the forum discuss the recent events in Kyrgyzstan?
- Absolutely, the Almaty Parliamentarian Conference should contribute
to the peaceful development of the situation in this country and assist the
international effort to establish a civilized state administration. Therefore,
the forum's participants will have the opportunity to discuss the situation
in Kyrgyzstan. I believe that the decision to organize a special session, made
after numerous consultations with the OSCE's Parliamentary Assembly President
Joao Soares, has been right and was supported by all our colleagues in the Assembly.
Moreover, representatives of the Assembly's President and the OSCE's Chairman-in-Office
worked shoulder-to-shoulder in Kyrgyzstan.
- Mr Tokayev, how would you assess Kazakhstan's participation
in the settlement of the conflict situation that occurred between the Kyrgyz
former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev and the country's interim government?
- We may say that Kazakhstan, which is currently the OSCE chair,
leads the international effort to overcome the crisis in Kyrgyzstan. Thanks
to the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev the threat of a civil war,
which might have led the whole Kyrgyzstan to a catastrophe, was averted.
The Kazakh diplomats succeeded in establishing coordination between
the international organizations. These efforts helped to prevent any further
escalation of the tension between the North and South of Kyrgyzstan and establish
and maintain contact between the governmental bodies and the non-governmental
The recent events in Kyrgyzstan have given the lessons to learn
to those who sincerely care about the wellbeing of their countries. As President
Nursultan Nazarbayev has said neither investments in national economies nor
further development of a state is possible without a law-based law.
- How would you comment on Bakiyev's statement he made
in Minsk saying that he still was the legitimate president of Kyrgyzstan?
- One of the most important tasks for the sides that were helping
resolve the conflict was to take Bakiyev out of the country to prevent further
bloodshed there. He left Kyrgyzstan as a result of concerted efforts of the
presidents of Kazakhstan, Russia and the United States, as well as the OSCE,
UN and EU.
Bakiyev himself wrote a letter of resignation, which was delivered
to the interim government of Kyrgyzstan. This is a fait accompli.
- Mr Tokayev, shortly we are celebrating the 65th anniversary
of Great Victory in the 1941-1945 war. What do you feel about this significant
- It really was a Great Victory that led to a new world architecture
which was documented in the UN Charter. It is worth noting here that this document
that defines basic principles of the international law has not been changed
since then. However, the attempts to rewrite the history of the victory, put
the aggressors and their victims into the same bowl still continue. In my opinion,
this is unacceptable historically, legally or morally.
- Thank you for the interview.
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