Netanyahu makes history in first visit by Israeli Prime Minister to Kazakhstan

First official visit by Israeli PM to Kazakhstan; Agreements signed in agriculture, R&D, aviation and security; Netanyahu asks for assistance in helping Israel join UN Security Council in 2019

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Photo: Haim Zach, GPO

 

Prime Minister traveled from Azerbaijan to Kazakhstan Wednesday, making history as the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit Kazakhstan.

The Prime Minister met with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the presidential palace in Astana, their meeting centered on increasing cooperation between both states and signing cooperative agreements in the areas of research and development, aviation, agriculture and security. Prime Minister Netanyahu also called for assistance in helping Israel become a rotating member of the United Nations Security Council

Speaking in a press conference, Netanyahu began by congratulating Kazakhstan on its 25 years of independence, referring to the country as a “new nation rising from the soil”. Netanyahu began by speaking of the partnership between both states, “specifically three areas: One, agriculture; two, science and technology; and three, security and anti-terror efforts.”

Announcing a visit in the near future by President Nazarbayev (his fourth), Netanyahu spoke of their meeting and agreements in various fields as part of both states’ “ambitious plan” for future bilateral relations.

Netanyahu spoke at length of Israel’s growing relations with Muslim states, referring to his previous visit to Azerbaijan and historic visit to Kazakhstan. He stated “What you see today are the leaders of a Muslim state and the leader of a Jewish state shaking hands, working to cooperate to create a better future for the citizens of our countries. This example of Muslim-Jewish cooperation is something that reverberates around the world.”

On assisting Israel in becoming a member of the UN Security Council in 2019, Netanyahu referred to Israel’s assistance of Kazakhstan, who will become a rotating member of the Council in January. He stated “We helped you get accepted as a member of the Security Council and now we are asking you to help us be a member of the Council as well.” He added “I view the relations with Kazakhstan as being part of this great change that the world is waiting for. They want to see not the forces of intolerance, the forces of tyranny, the forces of terror. They want to see forces of progress and of amiability and of friendship. And this is what this meeting represents. My hope is, and I say this to all our friends, that the great partnership that we are building here will also be reflected in international forums like the U.N.”

He officially requested Kazakhstan’s assistance, stating “I am asking President Nazarbayev to support Israel’s candidacy for a seat in the Security Council. You know that we supported Kazakhstan’s successful candidacy for the Security Council. Now, if you want a real change in the world, image the State of Israel on the Security Council of the United Nations. That’s a change. And it is supposed to happen in 2019. I think it’s possible and with your help it will be realized.”

Netanyahu echoed his words from his press conference with President Ilham Aliyev on support and tolerance of Jews from the previous day. He thanked Kazakhstan for “your attitude of tolerance towards Jews,” stating “This is something that Jews who are here feel and Jews who came from Kazakhstan to Israel value deeply.”