Tokayev in Ankara to discuss Turkey-Kazakhstan bilateral relations

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Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev arrived in Ankara on Tuesday, his first official visit to Turkey, which should open a new era in relations between the two countries.

The visit comes as the countries mark 30 years since they established ties on March 2, 1992. It was to include a joint press conference between Tokayev and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan following an official ceremony at the presidential compound , signing of various agreements and face-to-face and inter-delegation meetings. Apart from bilateral relations, the leaders are also expected to exchange views on topical regional and international issues.

During the talks, the delegations were expected to discuss measures to increase the volume of bilateral trade from the current $5 billion to $10 billion (152 billion Turkish liras), as well as new opportunities to expand areas of cooperation.

Turkey was among Kazakhstan’s top five trading partners last year, while investment by Turkish companies in the Central Asian country hit an all-time high.

Tokayev took office after founding president Nursultan Nazarbayev resigned in 2019.

Turkey was the first country to recognize Kazakhstan’s independence in 1991, with the two nations establishing diplomatic relations within months.

Ankara also pioneered the establishment of the first diplomatic mission in Kazakhstan, opening an embassy in Almaty, then the capital of the Central Asian country.

Bilateral relations continue to develop in all areas, with the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Ankara beginning its operations in October 1992.

Relations reached a climax with the signing of a strategic partnership agreement between the two nations in 2009. In 2012, they established a high-level strategic cooperation council.

The countries cooperate extensively in politics, economy, trade, investment, military, defense industry, education and health, having since achieved significant progress over their 30-year relationship.

Furthermore, when mass protests rocked the country in January, Turkey pledged its solidarity with Kazakhstan. Dozens of protesters and at least a dozen security personnel have died in clashes in Kazakhstan’s largest city and former capital, Almaty, in riots initially sparked by rising fuel prices.

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