OSCE Summit in Astana showed prestige of Kazakhstan in world arena: Tajik Ambassador to China R.Alimov

JING. December 10. KAZINFORM /Ruslan Suleimenov/ The Initiative of President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev on holding the OSCE Summit has a great value because this Summit had not been held for 11 years and the world now faces many threats and challenges that the OSCE had to respond but it did not.

Besides, the fact that the OSCE Summit for the first time in history was held in Central Asia is also very important. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Tajikistan to China Rashid Alimov shared his view on this and other aspects with a Kazinform correspondent.

What is the situation in trade-economic, humanitarian-cultural relations now between Tajikistan and China?

First of all I would like to mention that in spite of global economic crisis Tajik-Chinese relations develop dynamically. The meetings of Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon and Chinese President Hu Jintao that are held every year give a good impetus to these relations. Both sides consider the relations that they have had recently as very promising and the potential that have accumulated is really important and big. It can be given in figures. According to Chinese statistics the trade turnover we had in 2005 was USD 114 mln. It significantly increased in 2009, it was already USD 1.5 bln. Despite a difficult, economic situation in the world this year we already have USD 1.08 bln for the first 10 months of the year.

Thanks to Tajik-Chinese cooperation a lot of important big changes happened in the infrastructure of the country. Roads, tunnels, bridges were repaired, power lines as well. The cooperation in the sphere of energy helped Tajikistan establish a unified national energy system. Both countries move forward for starting cooperation in mining sector, textile industry and energy sphere.

Now we will have to work on infrastructure projects, in particular joint construction and reconstruction of roads. It is called on to simplify the conditions of communication within the country and improve life standards for people. We also expect increased trade between south and north after the reconstruction of the 'Dushanbe-Chanak' highway. Trunk roads construction is also very important because they will link the capital with different regions of Tajikistan and Chinese border. It would help make easier trade economic cooperation between the countries of Central Asia and China and within Tajikistan as well. We also have big plans in cooperation in the sphere of agriculture where we have great potential and opportunities.

Definitely, the cooperation cannot be complete if it lacks cultural-humanitarian aspect. Thus, I should mention that over the last five years the number of students from Tajikistan increased 10 times. Currently, around 600 Tajik students get education in almost 100 universities of China. Comparing to what we had five years ago I can say that less than 100 Tajik students studied in seven Chinese universities then. Within the framework of the visit of Premier of the State Council Wen Jiabao to Tajikistan 120 scholarships were granted to Tajikistan for 2011 academic year. It does reflect the care about the future of the Tajik-Chinese relations. Emomali Rakhmon always emphasizes that relations with China have always been and will be a priority of foreign policy of the country.

How do you appraise the level of political, trade-economic cooperation of Kazakhstan and Tajikistan?

Kazakhstan is a peculiar country for Tajikistan in its interaction with the other SCO member states. Kazakhstan has always supported Tajikistan in all its affairs which, of course, promotes the dynamics of trade economic cooperation and special relations of trust between our Heads of state.

In my opinion the visit of Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov to Tajikistan prior to the meeting of the Council of heads of government of the SCO member states attached special importance to the event. The SCO is a perfect dialogue platform for coordinating activities and consolidating cooperation at regional and bilateral levels. This is proved by the meeting of the Council of heads of government of the SCO member states that was preceded and followed by visits of heads of government of such big states as Kazakhstan and China. The atmosphere of friendship, mutual support and respect accompanied those visits. Besides, these visits turned the course of the meeting of the Council of heads of government of the SCO member states in right direction. The results that were achieved are very important for Tajik-Chinese and Tajik-Kazakh interaction as well as for regional cooperation.

Kazakhstan presides over the SCO. What do you expect from Kazakhstan as SCO Chair? How do you appraise holding of the OSCE Summit in Astana?

Kazakhstan and its foreign policy have always been innovative. And here, in Beijing, we can already see special approach to preparation of such a major event in the SCO life: the participants of the Summit in Astana are to mark the 10th anniversary of the SCO establishment. As Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon has said, in Astana we are expected to comprehend the conducted work as well as define urgent tasks of the Organization directly connected with new global challenges and threats. These tasks will be aimed at achieving the main goal: to make our Organization strong, authoritative, and to make "Shanghai spirit" firm. This is a common wish of the SCO member states, hence the anniversary 2011 session that is expected to define the new direction of the Organization development will strengthen its bases.

We have no doubts that the coming anniversary session of the SCO member states will be held at the highest level. The recently held OSCE Summit in Astana showed prestige of Kazakhstan in the world arena. The initiative of President N.Nazarbayev on holding the Summit is valuable for both the 11-years hiatus and the fact that at the turn of the century and millennium the world faced great challenges and threats.

Holding of the OSCE Summit in Central Asia for the first time in the history of the Organization is of special importance as well. The expectations from the coming SCO Summit are also great. We will work together with our Kazakhstani colleagues to hold the SCO Summit in Astana at the highest level.

What do you think about the cooperation of the SCO and the OSCE, particularly on settling the situation in Afghanistan?

The Afghan issues have always been and still are in the focus of the world community. Central Asia is "south gates" for the OSCE. All Central Asian states are involved in resolution of the Afghan problem, contributing to rendering practical assistance and support to the government of the country in restoring peace and stability. Uniting the efforts of SCO and OSCE, SCO and UN, SCO and other international organizations in Afghan direction will promote the reconstruction of peace and stability in Afghanistan.

What do you wish our people on the eve of the Independence Day?

Kazakhstan is a leader of Central Asia in economy and reforms. I wish Kazakh people welfare, prosperity and harmony.

Thank you for the interview.

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