(Exclusive Interview by Dr Shahid Qureshi)
H.E. Erlan Idrisov, Minister Foreign Affairs, Republic of Kazakhstan gave an exclusive interview to senior British Journalist and Chief Editor of the London Post, Dr Shahid Qureshi.
He was open and thorough in his answers here is what he has to say in response to the question. He is also former Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United Kingdom.
Question – Kazakhstan is a candidate for the UNSC non-permanent seat, how hopeful you are to win the seat in June this year?
Kazakhstan is a member of the UN General Assembly for over 25 years and have played its role internationally. Our region has many challenges including those linked with the nuclear safety, security and economy and I believe we can play a better role in the UNSC (United Nations Security Council) as it will make it more equitable.
In 2010 Kazakhstan expressed its interest to bid for non-permanent member seat at the UNSC which was one step forward to its six-year foreign policy agenda 2014-2020. The purpose of this bid is to go in the third circle of influence and widening its more active role at the international stage playing role on the issues of peace keeping, energy, environment, economy, food, poverty, terrorism and nuclear non-proliferation.
Kazakhstan had more nuclear weapons as member state of union of USSR than total numbers of UK, France and China. We were number four in the world. We are great believers of the nuclear disarmament and are closely working with UN, USA and others. We have developed a nuclear fuel bank and countries who require nuclear fuel for the energy generation can apply to us via IAEA. Over 130 countries have supported our resolution in the UN on this subject. We are working internationally via UN and our own means on water, energy and food security issues.
We are reaching out to all members of the UN and asking them to support our peace and progressive development policy and through you (London Post) I would urge United Kingdom to support this policy and also support Kazakhstan in the UN bid.
Well I mentioned to HE. Erlan Idrisov, Minister Foreign Affairs, Republic of Kazakhstan that the ambassador of Kazakhstan in London H.E. Erzhan Kazykhanov, is already very popular in the London diplomatic circles due to his networking, approachable and flexible nature.
In June 2016 the UNSC (United Nations Security Council) elections for the five non-permanent members are going to be held at the 70 session of the UN General Assembly. One seat allocated for the Asia-Pacific group is contested between Kazakhstan and Thailand.
Question – Since Kazakhstan and have close relationship with both Turkey and Russia, what role you think Kazakhstan play in improving the relationships between the two countries after the recent crisis and deterioration?
Kazakhstan enjoy friendly relationship with both the countries however Turkey is our brother historically with Eurasian roots and we have great relationship with our neighbour Russia, however, we are saddened by the recent deterioration of the relationship between the two great countries.
We believe both Russia and Turkey also have economic links which are of substantial size and both countries have great wisdom to make a decision, however we cannot prescribe but hope that it will improve soon.
Yes, there was a call from to President Erdogan to our President HE Nursultan Nazarbayev and two presidents have spoken in great detail and understanding. Our president also has very close friendly relations with President Putin.
Moreover, we believe Turkey and Russia have a great and long history of friendly and economic relations and are better engaged.
Question – We have witnessed that banks and financial intuitions have behaved badly which caused huge economic crisis for example Wall Street Banks in the US and Banks were bailed out with the taxpayer’s money in billions. What kind of control and mechanisms you have in place?
We have a central bank which is independent and keeping a close eye on the banking and financial activates in Kazakhstan. We also have small private banks which help our small business activities. We have housing related bank which helps people for home mortgages. We are keeping an eye on our banks in the long term interests of economic interest. Surely our monitory infrastructure is there to police these banks and any wrong doing would be dealt with the state law enforcing and legal apparatus.
Question – You are using local currency in high denomination notes and that could support corruption and inflation. I have spoken to diplomats from Latin American countries and they have very much controlled this using small denomination currency. In UK we have maximum £50 notes which are rarely seen in the daily usage. Your comment?
Well actually it is a British company that help us printing our currency in London. I recently found out that we have printed a Tg. 20000 notes, we already have 10000, 5000 motes in circulation. We believe this decision is linked with our own economic policy and circumstances. There are many other countries which use high denomination currency for their own economic circumstances.
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Kazakhstan 2015 and 2016 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He is a PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ and also studied Law at a British University)