Kazakhstan Has Been Independent for Thirty Years

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Representation Office of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) held a commemorative event in the Ybl Villa in Budapest. In order to participate and also to make remarks, the Kazakh politician and diplomat, Byrganym Aitimova, who is the President of the Council of Senators under the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, paid a visit to Hungary. Guests from Kazakhstan, the representatives of several Embassies accredited to Budapest, politicians, diplomats, businessmen, historians and the Hungarian friends of Kazakhstan also took part in the event.

Greeting the guests in his capacity as the host of the evening, Ambassador János Hóvári, the Haed of the Representation Office said: thirty years ago a fundamental change occurred in Central Asia. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the countries in Central Asia and Azerbaijan became independent, and Kazakhstan has grown into one of the most significant states in the region. Recalling his personal experiences, Ambassador Hóvári told the audience that in the region it was Kazakhstan that he, as a young Turkologist, visited first, and was deeply impressed by the culture and the natural resources of the country. He also recalled that the change in 1991 – the disintegration of the Soviet Union – was a juncture of historic proportions that the Representation Office has commemorated several times this year. In the course of the past months, politicians from Hungary, experts on foreign and security policy, Turkologists, historians and artists have celebrated together the independence of the Central Asian states and Azerbajan. In the past three decades, Kazakhstan and the Kazakh people have made tremendous progress, since the former Soviet republic has become an independent state that deserves the appreciation of the international community and with which Hungary has established friendly relations.

In his remarks Zhanibek Abdrashov, the Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Budapest emphasized that the bilateral relations of Hungary and Kazakhstan are exemplary and friendly. As he said, Kazakhstan looks at Hungary as a key partner, since the bilateral economic ties have already reached the stage where – besides trade and investments – the two countries can work together in innovation too. It is the fields of agriculture, health, education, energetics and transportation that play an outstanding role in the bilateral relations.

Following the remarks of Ambassador Abdrashov, the floor was taken by Byrganym Aitimova who summarized the events and the achievements of the three decades that have passed since the independence of Kazakhstan on December 16, 1991. She stressed the fact that from the very first moment of becoming independent, Kazakhstan and the Kazakh people have been fully aware of the responsibility that they have in the region of Central Asia. The ninth largest country by territory in the world is located in the middle of Eurasia, and in such a way, plays the role of somewhat of a bridge between Europe and Asia. Byrganyn Aitimova underlined that during the years after becoming independent, her country settled the border issues with her neighbors in a peaceful way, and after the initial difficulties, her economy started to develop dynamically. The settling of the language issue in a constitutional way has also contributed to the orderly and steady development. The relevant law says that in Kazakhstan the language of the state is Kazakh but Russian as an officially accepted language plays an enormous role in the life of the country. The bilingual nature of the country provides the people with calm, predictability and security, just as religious diversity does which is guaranteed by the state to its citizens. During the three decades of independence, the GDP of the country has multiplied which – when compared to Soviet times – offers the population acceptable living standards. Mrs. Aitimova also highlighted that Kazakhstan had been playing a leading role in establishing the Organization of Turkic States, the activities of which she called extremely important.

Dr. Uli Schamiloglu, the Head of the Department of Kazakh Linguistics and Turkic Studies at the Nazarbayev University in Nur-Sultan also made some remarks, and the evening came to a conclusion with a cultural program.

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