kazakhstan flag 88.
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As Israel and Kazakhstan celebrate their 15th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations, a group of Israeli experts and journalists will attend the Eurasian Media Forum in the Kazakh city of Almaty from April 19-21.
The conference, chaired by Dr. Dariga Nazarbayev, daughter of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, is considered to be one of the most important international media initiatives in Eurasia. It is aimed at defining the strategic role of Eurasia in world affairs, exploring a new approach to international relations, promoting equality of access to reliable public information and encouraging the highest standards of journalism.
The issues up for discussion during the conference include the situation in Iraq and US policy in the Middle East and Central Asia; the crisis in Darfur and the conflict in Somalia; Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs; security challenges in the post-Soviet area; NATO and the EU clash of interests; and Kazakhstan's chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Guests of the conference include former president of Iran Muhammad Khatami, former US ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke, former prime minister of Russia Eugenie Primakov, former US assistant secretary of defense Richard Perle, UK Parliament Member George Galloway and secretary-general of the OSCE Marc Perrin de Brichambaut.
Israel will be represented at the forum by Maj.-Gen. (Res.) Danny Rothschild, president of the Council for Peace and Security; Tzvi Yehezkeli, head of the Arab desk at Channel 10; and Alex Kogan, editor-in-chief of the Mnenia (opinions) Web magazine.
Kazakhstan, the biggest Central Asian state, is one of the most progressive Muslim states in the world. A mere 16 years after becoming independent, the country has almost reached European levels of development and is the most stable state in the region. Kazakhstan's gross domestic product is expected to grow 8.6 percent this year, making its economy one of the quickest developing in the world. Kazakh-Israeli relations are on the rise, with trade turnover reaching almost $800 million annually.
Kazakh leadership is promoting interconfessional dialogue to strengthen the cooperation among religions at the international level by arranging meetings with prominent Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders.
As President Nazarbayev said in his recent State of the Nation address, Kazakhstan's intention to implement several breakthrough national and regional projects presents wide opportunities for a Kazakh-Israeli partnership, especially in the fields of trade and innovations.
The fifth session of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic cooperation is to be held this summer in Astana during the visit of Industry and Trade Minister Eli Yishai.