ALMATY (Kazakhstan), May 24 — Bilateral ties between Malaysia and Kazakhstan is strong and will continue to grow under the new Pakatan Harapan government through China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), an official with the central Asian republic affirmed today.
Kazakhstan Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Yerzhan Ashikbayev sought to distance his government’s former family link to Malaysia and said the republic had no interest in the corruption trial of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak whose daughter Nooryana Najwa is married to Daniyar Kessikbayev, the nephew of former Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Nazarbayev stepped down from office in March after nearly 30 years in power.
“We definitely believe that it is purely domestic of Malaysia.
“When it comes to Kazakhstan, the commitment to further foster bilateral cooperation is with us and we believe the Malaysian side has already demonstrated its willingness to further our cooperation,” Ashikbayev told Malay Mail at the Eurasian Media Forum yesterday.
The Kazakh deputy minister said there is huge untapped potential to strengthen bilateral relationship between Malaysia and Kazakhstan through China’s BRI.
He said the only challenge faced between the two nations were due to geographical location that limits the ease of connectivity.
“The BRI by China will provide additional windows of opportunity.
“The physical access was an issue and the distance between us has been a major obstacle. Otherwise we don’t have any political issues, we don’t have other impediments to our bilateral cooperation,” Ashikbayev said, adding plans are on the way for its national carrier Air Astana to increase its flight frequency from three to five times a week.
“As we spoke at the first session, it is also the cooperation of integration structure of Asean with Eurasian Economic Union and many other forms of interaction, and we definitely see huge benefits of such cooperation.”
Yesterday, Ashikbayev spoke at the global forum on the topic “De-globalisation: The World in Search of New Development Models”.
He said Kazakhstan has been actively investing in reaching to the outside world, not only in infrastructure investment, but was also looking into introducing English as his country’s third language.
He added these were some of the efforts to make the country more inclusive as part of the global community.
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