Kazakhstan warns crisis in Afghanistan could create favorable conditions for terrorism

Kazakhstan’s deputy minister of foreign affairs said only through the joint efforts of the global community will Afghanistan become an independent and stable country that coexists in peace with its neighbors.

Addressing a press conference in Astana, Kanat Tumysh said the current crisis in Afghanistan can create favorable conditions for extremism and terrorism which in turn poses threats to the entire Central Asian region.

Tumysh said: “Kazakhstan, like other members of the global community, shall prevent drifting of Afghanistan into instability. We believe that by joint efforts of the global community only, Afghanistan will be able to turn into an independent and stable country enjoying peaceful coexistence with its neighbors and adhering to its international commitments.”

“Alongside we focus on development of trade-economic relations with this country,” he was quoted as saying by Kazinform.

He also stated that Afghanistan is a key importer of Kazakhstan’s agricultural products, and has in the past purchased around 70% of all exported wheat. Tumysh said that strengthening of trade relations with Afghanistan will also open up new markets for Astana especially with new transport routes to Pakistan and beyond through Gwadar port.

Tumysh spoke just days ahead of a major Kazakh-Afghan Business Forum in Astana that will run from August 3 to 5. An estimated 150 entrepreneurs are expected to represent Afghanistan at the event.

His comments also came less than a week after US special envoy for Afghanistan Thomas West and his colleague, Rina Amiri, met with a host of Central Asian officials to discuss the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan.

West and Amiri also attended the C5+1 special session on Afghanistan, during which Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the U.S. considered the provision of humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan, the protection of human rights, international cooperation, security and the fight against terrorism.

Talgat Kaliyev, Ambassador-at-large of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry, highlighted the importance of a single agreed pragmatic approach to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan.