In a clear nod that it sees itself as being a global diplomatic player, Kazakhstan will host a new round of talks between Iran and its US-lead rivals later this month.
Feb. 25 is the date scheduled for the new round of on-off talks between Iran and the US, Russia, China, the EU, France and Britain over the Iranian nuclear programme.
WTO chief Pascal Lamy says that Kazakhstan may join the WTO later this year.
Read the Reuters story here
Less than a month after the head of Kazakhstan’s border guards service died in a plane crash, President Nursultan Nazarbayev has appointed a successor.
2012 was a tough year for the border guard agency. It had to deal with the murders of 14 of its soldiers and then the plane crash which killed many of its senior staff.
Read the Trend story here
A military plane has crashed near Shymkent in southern Kazakhstan reportedly killing 27 people, including the acting head of the border guard service.
News agencies reported that the plane had been flying from Astana when it crashed about 20km from the city of Shymkent near the border with Uzbekistan.
Witnesses said that the weather had been bad.
Twenty military officals, including the head of the national border guard agency Turganbek Stambekov, and seven crew were killed.
>>The former Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, tried to buy the Kazakh nuclear arsenal in the mid-1990s. Apparently
STORY: The timing is suspect, but a comment by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, a former Kazakh foreign minister, that Muammar Gaddafi, the former Libyan dictator, essentially tried to buy Kazakhstan’s nuclear arsenal in the 1990s is worth noting.
Mr Tokayev made the comment on Nov. 29, the eve of a public holiday in Kazakhstan to celebrate Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev — the only president since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Mr Tokayev may just have been trying to curry favour by suggesting that it is only because of Mr Nazarbayev that the world didn’t have to deal with a nuclear-armed Libya.
The offer from Gaddafi, in 1992, to spend millions of dollars maintaining Kazakh nuclear missiles, left over when the Soviet Union collapsed, would have been tempting for a lesser politician, Mr Tokayev said. Instead, Mr Nazarbayev agreed to join a US-lead programme to disarm it nuclear arsenal, a decision that earned him international kudos.
It was also a decision that Mr Nazarbayev’s supporters say deserves to win him the Nobel Peace Prize.
The claim by Mr Tokayev is an interesting twist on an important segment of Kazakhstan’s post-Soviet history.
This article first appeared on Nov. 30, in issue 37 of the Silk Road Intelligencer weekly newssheet. Silk Road Inteliigencer is part of the Conway Bulletin series covering Central Asia & the South Caucasus. To subscribe for free to the newssheet, please click here
A court in Almaty orders the closure of the Vzglyad newspaper which has been critical of President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Last week, Kazakhstan’s prosecutor-general had asked for Vzglyad and other opposition media outlets to be closed because, he argued, they were pumping out extremist propoganda.
For the story from the Daily Times, a Pakistan newspaper, click here
The Kazakh police have raided an opposition website the day after the authorities asked for a ban on a handful of troublesome newspapers and a TV station. To read the latest AP story, click here
UK names a new ambassador to Kazakhstan — Kazinform