President Tokayev Addresses CSTO Summit in Yerevan, Calls for Peace Talks between Russia and Ukraine

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President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called for peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia as he addressed the Collective Security Council session of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) on Nov. 23 in Yerevan, reported the presidential press service. 

Tokayev emphasized the time has come for a “joint collective search for a formula for peace.” 

“Any war ends with peaceful negotiations. We need to use every chance to achieve at least a truce. The Istanbul round of talks gave hope for this. Still, the agreement was undermined for various reasons. We cannot allow the fraternal Russian and Ukrainian people to go their separate ways for dozens or hundreds of years with mutual unhealed resentments,” Tokayev told the meeting that gathered President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas.

Tokayev also warned of the need to direct efforts to support Afghanistan, highlighting it as “one of the primary factors in ensuring security on the southern borders of the CSTO.”

“Kazakhstan aims to continue practical interaction with the Afghan leadership to solve the country’s acute social and economic problems. We provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan,” Tokayev added. 

Continuing his speech, Tokayev stated that the meeting is taking place “amid complex geopolitical contradictions and unprecedented challenges,” stressing the growing turbulence in the region. 

“Conflicts that undermine stability and security in Eurasian space continue to occur in our region. Maintaining and developing an open and constructive dialogue in these circumstances is vital. This is an effective and acceptable way out of complex crises and disagreements,” said Tokayev. 

Photo credit: Akorda press service

Amid this geopolitical turmoil, however, Kazakhstan remains firmly committed to its strategic course toward strengthening relations of friendship, good neighborliness and cooperation with allies and partners in the region. 

“We are determined to continue making efforts to maintain a high level of relations with your states both in bilateral and multilateral formats,” he added. 

The meeting also summed up the results of Armenia’s chairmanship at CSTO. Belarus will be the next to chair the organization. 

“Our presidency lasted almost 14 months. This period coincided with profound upheavals both globally and regionally. Unfortunately, not only has there been no decline in the risk of conflict around the world and in our region in particular, but tensions continue to rise, with obvious trends toward the accumulation of even more significant and more complex problems,” said Pashinyan. 

Speaking about the priorities of Belarus, Lukashenko outlined increasing the cohesion of CSTO member states, reducing tensions and resolving contradictions between them to ensure security and stability in the CSTO area of responsibility as internal priorities while strengthening the role and significance of the CSTO in the system of international relations as external priorities. 

The leaders also agreed to appoint Imangali Tasmagambetov, Kazakhstan’s veteran diplomat, as the organization’s ​​Secretary General starting from Jan. 1, 2023, for a three-year term. 

Source : Astana Times