May 28 2005 - CALL FOR INCREASED CENTRAL ASIAN INVOLVEMENT IN NATO PA [PRESS COMMUNIQUE]
For the first time a delegation from Kazakhstan is attending a session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) following the granting of Parliamentary Observer status to the country in November 2004 in response to a request from the Kazakh parliament.
Addressing the Committee on the Civil Dimension of Security today, May 28, the Kazakh representatives, Mr. Rashit Akhmentov, a member of the Kazakh Senate and Mr. Toktarkhan Nurakhmetov, a member of the
Mr. Nurakhmetov said that the stability of Kazakhstan and its near neighbours were threatened by these activities and called for a pooling of regional efforts and a wider exchange of information to deal more effectively with these regional concerns.
Answering a series of questions from parliamentary delegates both men emphasized that Kazakhstan is one of the most democratic states in the region with respect for human rights, religious toleration and a media which is free to express its opinions without interference from the state - as long as it abides by the laws on the mass media.
Mr. Nurakhmetov welcomed the fact finding visit to Kazakhstan in March of a group from the NATO PA Committee on the Civil Dimension of Security and stressed the importance to the Kazakh parliament of the new links to the NATO PA. He regretted that other Central Asian states - such as Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan - were not yet represented at the NATO PA and called for their "earliest inclusion in these important exchange of views which are of increasing benefit to all concerned with the regional development and stability of this potentially volatile area".
The Central Asian Republic is represented by a two-man delegation at the 5 day Spring Session of the NATO PA currently being held in Ljubljana, Slovenia (May 26 to 31).