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Jordan, Kazakhstan share vision for economic cooperation, counterterrorism —ambassador

By Mohammad Ghazal - Dec 09,2015 - Last updated at Dec 09,2015

AMMAN — Building on a history of bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and Jordan spanning more than 20 years, the Kingdom has become  “one of our closest partners in the Middle East”, said Kazakh Ambassador to Jordan Azamat Berdibay.

Jordan and Kazakhstan, which established diplomatic ties in 1993, have similar points of views on most regional and global issues, and the Kingdom continuously provides support for Kazakhstan’s initiatives in the international arena, the ambassador said in a recent interview with The Jordan Times on the occasion of his country’s national day.

“Bilateral political relations between our countries stand at a high level. This greatly contributed to developing the friendly and brotherly relations between the leaders of our states, which gave new impetus to the strengthening of cooperation between our countries,” he said.

Turning to economic cooperation, Berdibay noted that there are possibilities for further development of trade and economic relations on top of the existing cooperation in agriculture, energy, pharmaceuticals and tourism.

“One of the areas is [the] pharmaceutical industry that has a possibility to create joint enterprises [for the] production of different medical supplies … [in] Kazakhstan. The pharmaceutical industry is well-developed in Jordan,” he said.

Jordanian business circles are already investing in the Kazakh economy and entering the Kazakh market, the ambassador added, citing an announcement by the Kingdom’s Hikma Pharmaceuticals of its readiness to invest in the construction of a pharmaceutical factory in the Almaty region.

He noted that there is also great potential for partnership in the area of agriculture, given Kazakhstan’s role as one of the 10 largest wheat producers in the world and its annual exports of about 15 million tonnes of grain.

Berdibay suggested that with the commissioning in December 2014 of the “Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran” railway, the time is right to resume negotiations on delivering  Kazakh grain to Jordan.

Moreover, he highlighted cooperation in the tourism sphere.

In 2012, Jordan was included in the list of 48 countries whose nationals have the right to enter the Republic of Kazakhstan under a simplified visa regime. Kazakhstan nationals can obtain a Jordanian visa upon arrival at the airport in Amman.

The diplomat also voiced appreciation for Jordan’s decision to participate in the “EXPO-2017” exhibition to be held under the motto “Energy of the Future” in the Kazakh capital Astana.

Turning to the fight against violent extremism, he said: “I hope that Jordan will support Kazakhstan’s initiative to establish under the aegis of the UN a unified global network to counter international terrorism and extremism.”

He cited a call for such a network made by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in September, adding that it would be appropriate to develop and adopt a comprehensive UN document on the subject.

“Our countries are ready to develop cooperation in fighting terrorism and extremism and combating drug trafficking and other organised crime... We agreed to cooperate in these fields by activating contacts and coordination between law enforcement authorities of our countries,” he said.

 

The diplomat commended Jordan’s role as an active supporter of dialogue across religions and ethnicities, as reflected in the “Amman Message” in the framework of “World Interfaith Harmony Week”.

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