Kazakh President's visit to the Holy See: History of two countries' diplomatic relations

History of diplomatic relations of Kazakhstan and the Holy See
Photo credit: akorda.kz

On January 19, 2024, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev will pay an official visit to the Holy See, where he will have an audience with Pope Francis. On how the relations between the two countries developed is in the latest article from Kazinform News Agency.

The Republic of Kazakhstan and the Holy See established diplomatic relations on October 17, 1992.

In mid-May 1992, papal nuncio in Moscow, Archbishop Francesco Colasuonno and attache of the Holy See Misssion R. Chemus visited Karaganda and Astana cities of Kazakhstan. They were received at the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and also had a meeting with Mufti Ratbek Kazhy Nyssanbaiuly and orthodoxy clergies. The Archbishop gave a short press conference and celebrated the mass.

In September 1998, Kazakhstan became the firts CIS and Asian state to sign a relationship agreement with the Holy See. By a presidential decree as of September 2, 2001, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the Swiss Confederation Nurlan Danenov was appointed Non-Resident Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the Holy See.

On September 22-25, 2001, Pope John Paul II paid a state visit to Kazakhstan. The Pope met with the Head of State, youth of Kazakhstan, workers of culture and art and celebrated a solemn liturgy and the Holy Mass at the Our Mother of Perpetual Help Cathedral.

History of diplomatic relations of Kazakhstan and the Holy See
Photo credit: studentportal.pl

On December 16, 2001, an official opening ceremony of the Apostolic Nunciature was held in Astana. Heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Kazakhstan attended the ceremony.

On February 2003, then-President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev paid an official visit to the Holy See, where he had an audience with Pope John Paul II, and met with the State Secretary of the Holy See, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

On June 6, 2018, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, as the Senate Chairman, visited the Vatican. At the meeting with the Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, the sides pointed to the similarity of the two countries’ stance on strengthening the global community and continuing the dialogue between religions, cultures and civilizations.

On November 6, 2021, Chairman of the Senate of the Kazakh Parliament, chief of the Secretariat of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions Maulen Ashimbayev paid an official visit to the Vatican. At the meeting with Pope Francis, Maulen Ashimbayev extended him an invitation to the VII Congress of World and Traditional Religions Leaders in Astana, on behalf of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Maulen Ashimbayev also met with State Secretary of the Vatican, Cardinal Pietro Parolin and President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Ayuso Guixot.

History of diplomatic relations of Kazakhstan and the Holy See
Photo credit: Valeriy Sharifullin/TASS

On October 17, 2022, Kazakhstan and the Holy See marked the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Throughout this period, Kazakhstan and the Holy See have succeeded in the development of friendly ties and multifaceted cooperation, based on strong ties of mutual respect and common priorities.

In 2022, the regulatory-legal framework between the two countries expanded significantly. For instance, memorandums of cooperation were signed between the University Medical Center of Kazakhstan and Bambino Gesù Hospital, Suleimenov Institute of Oriental Studies and the Vatican Apostolic Library. Additionally, the Supplementary Agreement to the Agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of Kazakhstan on Mutual Relations of 1998 was signed. The document seeks to further deepen bilateral cooperation.

Year 2022 became special in the history of the Kazakhstan-Holy See bilateral relations development, given that on September 13-14 Pope France visited the capital of Kazakhstan, as part of which he participated in the VII Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. The Pope held a holy mass for thousands of pilgrims and addressed civil community and the diplomatic corps, by citing great Abai and demonstrating his deep knowledge of the Kazakh culture. He also noted that Kazakhstan played a special role in building the interfaith and inter-civilizational dialogue being the place of meeting and dialogue.

History of diplomatic relations of Kazakhstan and the Holy See
Photo credit: Viktor Fedyunin/Kazinform
History of diplomatic relations of Kazakhstan and the Holy See
Photo credit: Akorda.kz

 

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