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KAZAKSTAN


 

 

Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 29,749 24,205 22,400 60
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 1,780 1,510 1,350 119
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

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Update No: 350 - (25/02/10)

Kazakhstan is a Turkic country, with a population the size of Holland, fifteen million, and a territory five times the size of France. The latter designations are not irrelevant; it now heads the Organisation of Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE).

The European anomaly
There are those that think that this is a ludicrous anomaly. The Turks were the enemy of the Europeans for centuries. They were at the outskirts of Vienna in 1687, at which point the Poles came to the rescue of the Austrians, demonstrating a European solidarity against the Turks.

But your existential enemy is in a strange way your best friend, giving you focus and élan. Kazakhstan as the furthest outpost of the Turkic world is, therefore, an original and apposite repository of the leadership of the OSCE. At least this is one point of view.

It lacks human rights in a Western sense. It lacks liberal democracy, QED. It lacks a popular capitalism, extending beyond the reach of the top people, the post-communist barons and the like. But it aspires to join the West for all that.

It is a very moot point whether the best way forward is to pretend that it already is.

It is rather similar to giving the Nobel Prize for Peace to Barack Obama, just after he had ordered a 'new surge' in Afghanistan. It is, as Dr Johnson said, when informed that a friend of his had married a whore, a triumph of hope over experience.

Still it has happened. The best thing is to make the most of it, reproaching the Kazakhs if they don't live up to our high expectations. But it didn't work with Hitler and Mussolini!

Turkish FM meets leaders in Kazakhstan
Yet there is after all Turkey, which is a civilised and, albeit cavalierly, a civilising power. It is European by proxy – perhaps the closest proxy Kazakhstan needs as yet.

A new development took place in the New Year. Following his meetings with Kazakh officials, the Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu took part at a meeting with representatives of Turkish companies operating in Kazakhstan. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who was in Kazakhstan for talks, had separate meetings with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov on February 11.

Nazarbayev told his meeting with Davutoglu that Kazakhstan appreciated Turkey's interest in the Turkic world. "Turkey has always kept its words and pioneered projects carried out in the interest of Turkic world," Nazarbayev said.

Recalling his visit to Turkey last year and bilateral talks with Turkish officials during recent summit of leaders of Turkish-speaking countries held in Nakhchivan, Nazarbayev said, "we are in consensus with Turkey in all issues. We support all Turkey’s proposals and I think we will carry out important projects in 2010."

In a separate meeting, Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Masimov told Davutoglu that Turkish and Kazakh people had a warm and sincere relationship. Masimov and Davutoglu discussed a wide range of issues on further development of commercial and economic relations between the two countries.

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