Updated: 02-Dec-2003 NATO Speeches


2 Dec. 2003

Partnership's Role in Defence Reform
Between Prague and Istanbul

Speech by Colonel-General Mukhtar Altynbayev
Minister of Defence of the Republic of Kazakhstan at the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council meeting in Foreign Ministers' session with invitees

Dear Chairman! Ladies and gentlemen!

First of all, allow me to express ny appreciation to the NATO leadership for the organizing our meeting.

Mister Chairman!
The consequences of the recent terrorist acts, which are beyond human comprehension, prove once again the necessity of strengthening our cooperation, and our solidarity within the framework of North Atlantic Partnership, especially on the issues of the struggle against terrorism.

The reaction time for the prevention of terrorist threats is one of the most important factors. That is why we are speeding up our efforts' in the coordination and implementation of the Plan of Partnership Actions against Terrorism. This is extremely essential.

The creation of balanced and effective anti-terrorist forces in the North Atlantic Union, support of defense reforms in the system of the struggle against terrorism will promote a well-timed reaction to the terrorist threats.

Kazakhstan believes that EAPC as a trans-regional structure must play an important role in combining nations' efforts in the struggle for security within the whole Euro-Asian area. This way the climate of trust and stability in the world is going to be formed.

Terrorist organizations' active actions are directed to destabilization and cleavage of world society according to civilizations OK beliefs' traits. In this connection, Kazakhstan considers EAPC mechanisms an effective tool for the prevention and localization of international terrorism's distinctive features.

Kazakhstan is a supporter of democracy and humanism. The bright examples of this have become such significant events as Conference on Cooperation and Confidence Measures in Asia, International Conference of Peace and consent, Forum of World and Traditional National Religions, called in accordance with initiatives of our President Nursultan Nazarbayev. These initiatives have provided the real possibility of a dialogue among the peoples and civilizations.

We appreciate and welcome the growing attention of NATO/ EAPC to the Central Asian region. From the point of view of strengthening global security, the states of the region are situated on the front line of the struggle against the sources of international terrorism.

Today's reality emphasizes the necessity of a reconsideration of the
principle views on the provision of military security, forms, ways and means of achieving security. Structure, mission and training in the armed forces should get away from stereotypes. It is necessary to create a system of military management that can correspondingly react to the new challenges and threats. In this respect, undoubtedly, sharing experience and the Alliance's nations' assistance in building armed forces in newly independent countries is very important.
Peacekeeping activity should gain, new and more detailed content.

Kazakhstan, sharing the responsibility of international society in strengthening regional and global security, is not going to be outside of the process of the post-conflict reconstruction of Iraq.

An Engineer detachment from the peacekeeping battalion KAZBAT was deployed in Iraq as a part of the Stabilization force. The unit has cleared away more than 400 thousand explosives and continues fulfilling successfully its missions. In addition, the Detachment's participation helps in solving another important problem: achieving interoperability and gaining valuable operational experience with our partners.

In the framework of operation 'Enduring Freedom' Kazakhstan, without any compensation, opened its airspace for the Coalition aircraft to over fly to Afghanistan. About 1400 Coalition aircraft have flown through the airspace of our country. Agreements with several states (USA, Denmark, Norway) on using our airfields in emergency have also been signed. Moreover, munitions, training, literature on weapons and military equipment were given to the Armed Forces of Afghanistan as a humanitarian assistance.

The situation in Afghanistan is one of the key factors which influences the security and stability of the Central Asian region and despite the international community's measures, it is still considered unstable and far from normalization.

Unfortunately, it is to be stressed that drug proliferation from Afghanistan all over the world has not stopped. It has increased by several times. It is not a secret that the drug trade is the main financial artery of terrorist organizations.

Taking into account the changes in the geopolitical environment, Kazakhstan takes adequate steps in the area of improving its defense policy. The purpose of these steps is the creation of professional, mobile and well-equipped armed forces. Doing so, we take into consideration the experience of not only equipping, but also of re-structuring for interoperability with Alliance standards.

Today's NATO partnership goals have a special interest for Kazakhstan. We are ready to consider and define concrete ways of their realization. Meanwhile, we propose to consider practical issues in the creation of Kazakhstan's PfP structures. These structures, taking into account the unique geopolitical location of Kazakhstan, internal stability in the country, consent among ethnic groups and religions, will inevitably move forward our possibilities in the struggle against terrorism.

Dear Mister Chairman!

Kazakhstan intends to actively develop its participation in the frame of 'Process of Analyses and Review', the main tool of Partnership that provides interoperability of our nations armed forces.

The year 2003 was full of events and effective in the area of military cooperation between Kazakhstan and NATO. The visits of NATO and NATO International Military Headquarters' leaders to Kazakhstan are the proof of this fact.

I an confident that the next year Summit in Istanbul will become an important stage in the development of a constructive dialogue, further strengthening our partnership and will give an additional impulse for the improvement of mutually beneficial cooperation.

In conclusion, I would like to express appreciation to Lord Robertson for his personal contribution to strengthening security and stability on the post of NATO Secretary General in difficult for the Alliance time and wish him health, success and prosperity in his future activity.

Thank you for your attention.

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