Head of British Foreign Ministry Visits Astana

cover Coverphoto: press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan

British Foreign Minister David Cameron is in Astana on a two-day official visit. On April 24, he met with his Kazakh counterpart Murat Nurtleu and President Qasym-Jomart Toqayev. 


Murat Nurtleu and David Cameron discussed not only the situation in Kazakhstan but also other matters, including the situation in Central Asia, events in Afghanistan, and Russia's war against Ukraine. At a media briefing after the meeting with the British Minister, Murat Nurtleu noted that the positions of Kazakhstan and the UK on many bilateral and international matters are similar.

David Cameron and Murat Nurtleu. Photo: press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan
The British side separately touched upon the Ukrainian matter. In turn, I informed my colleague about the importance for our country of resolving any conflict peacefully. Kazakhstan adheres to a strategically neutral policy. We constantly support the fundamental principles of the United Nations, such as sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, Murat Nurtleu said.


Among other topics, Murat Nurtleu and David Cameron discussed British investments and advanced scientific technologies. The Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan noted that in 2023 the trade turnover with the United Kingdom reached $1.2 billion, and the total amount of direct investments of the United Kingdom over 20 years has amounted to $17 billion.

Last year, investments from the UK into the Kazakh economy increased by 20% and amounted to $795 million. Today, about 600 enterprises created with the participation of British business capital contribute to the development of the country. Among them are well-known companies: Shell, RioTinto, Ernst and Young, AstraZeneca. However, there is an opinion that our potential in the economic sphere has yet to reach its full potential, Murat Nurtleu said.
David Cameron and Qasym-Jomart Toqayev. Photo: Aqorda press service

At the meeting with David Cameron, President Qasym-Jomart Toqayev also mentioned that Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom have great potential to increase cooperation in the field of trade and investment.

Rare Minerals

David Cameron also touched base on the UK's interest in Kazakhstan's raw materials, i.e. rare earth metals and lithium.

Official statements on this matter have so far sounded rather restrained. It can nonetheless be inferred that British investors have noticed such opportunities that are opening up in Kazakhstan. In addition to rare minerals, the British are interested in the field of "green energy".

David Cameron. Photo: press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Taking into account the recently adopted roadmap on fossil minerals in London, we considered the possibility of implementing advanced projects in the field of important raw materials, the development of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Corridor and green energy, 
Murat Nurtleu stated. 

Kazakhstan has officially confirmed that it is interested in expanding trade and investment ties with the UK.


David Cameron emphasized that his visit should not be considered as an attempt to "put pressure" on Kazakhstan or other Central Asian countries. The British minister pointed out that his trip is aimed at developing relations between the two countries and not at imposing any diplomatic dilemmas on Kazakhstan.

David Cameron. Press Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan
We are not telling Kazakhstan or any other country that you have to make a choice, or that we are asking you not to make a choice in favor of partnership and trade with Russia, China, or anyone else. We are here because we believe that you should be able to choose a partnership with us in a way that would positively affect both our common security and our common prosperity, David Cameron said.

The head of the British Foreign Ministry noted that Kazakhstan is in a region full of "global challenges" with such neighbors as China, Russia, Iran, and Afghanistan. In such circumstances, David Cameron noted that the UK needs to have a presence in Central Asia.

We are here so that you have a choice, David Cameron summed up.

Original Author: Nikita Drobny

DISCLAIMER: This is a translated piece. The text has been modified, the content is the same. Please refer to the original piece in Russian for accuracy.

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