Need to Redouble Efforts to Implement Iran-Kazakhstan Agreements
EghtesadOnline: Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei stressed the need to step up efforts to implement agreements signed between Iran and Kazakhstan.
He made the remarks in a meeting with visiting Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Sunday, Leader.ir reported.
Highlighting deep historical and cultural bonds between Iran and Kazakhstan, the Leader called for further boosting cooperation in various sectors, especially at regional level.
It is necessary to operationalize joint commissions to help expand bilateral ties, Ayatollah Khamenei said.
He also stressed the importance of cultural cooperation, suggesting the formation of a scientific committee in the name of the early Islamic philosopher Alpharabius.
“As an Islamic philosopher and thinker with Kazakh origin whose works have been studied and researched in Iran for a thousand years, Alpharabius can be basis for cultural cooperation between the two countries under a joint scientific committee,” he said.
Referring to the conflict in Ukraine, the Leader said the main problem is that western countries seek to expand the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) wherever they can.
“One must be cautious because the Americans and western countries always seek to expand their area of influence in various regions including in east and west Asia and to hit the independence and sovereignty of countries,” he said.
The Kazakh president said he had useful talks during his visit and signed agreements that can prepare the ground for upgraded ties.
He underlined deep cultural commonalities between the two states and welcomed the Leader’s suggestion for the establishment of a joint scientific committee.
Tokayev later shared his views about regional issues and the situation in Ukraine and gave explanations about his country’s conditions following the failed coup attempt in January.
Earlier in the day, the Kazakh President met his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi before co-chairing a meeting of the two countries’ delegations where nine memorandums of understanding were signed.
Speaking at a joint press briefing, Tokayev highlighted good neighborly relations and cultural commonalities between the two countries, adding that his trip would create new motives for expanding the ties.
“The MOUs signed today can push Tehran-Nur-Sultan relations one step forward,” he was quoted as saying by President.ir.
He said both countries are interested in using the existing transit capacities to boost economic and trade ties.
Regular activity of joint economic cooperation commissions can also help raise the level of bilateral relations, according to Tokayev.
“We have plans for establishing a joint chamber of commerce and Kazakhstan issues 14-day visas for Iranian business people along this line,” he said.
Despite Kazakhstan’s special geopolitical status and restraints, the volume of trade between the two countries has experienced a 50% increase this year, he pointed out.
He added that a rail connection and agricultural cooperation can also have a positive effect on efforts to enhance bilateral relations.
“I am certain that joint projects can have useful outcomes for Iran and Kazakhstan and further strengthen our friendship,” he said.
The Kazakh president also noted that the two countries have shared views on regional and international issues.
“The cooperation of Tehran and Nur-Sultan within the framework of regional and international organizations can help ensure stability and security in the region.”
Raisi described the visit as a turning point in Iran-Kazakhstan relations, adding that the good and brotherly relations between the two countries over the past 30 years was necessary but insufficient.
“Tehran and Nur-Sultan have great capacities to upgrade relations and the signed MOUs indicate a mutual will for achieving this purpose,” he said.
In the first step, the two countries can increase their mutual trade from the current level to $3 billion, he said.
Close cooperation is possible in other sectors as well such as agriculture, industry, transit, energy, oil and gas, according to Raisi.
Cultural and civilizational commonalities are also suitable grounds for expanding cultural relations, he said.
“Iran is determined to expand not only its bilateral ties with Kazakhstan, but also within regional organizations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Eurasian Economic Union,” the president said, stressing that Caspian Sea littoral states are a priority for Tehran.
He later underlined the two countries’ common views about regional and international developments, including in Afghanistan where they believe an inclusive government representing all political and ethnic groups is a solution to problems.
“Both countries also agree that the presence of foreigners in the region will not ensure security and only regional states can solve their problems.”