Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev addressed the Astana Club Astana Times

A Young State in an Uncertain World

Since independence, Kazakhstan has benefited considerably from its inclusion in the liberal world order, underwritten by Western – and especially US – leadership. As that order becomes increasingly uncertain, young states like Kazakhstan will have to adjust.

ALMATY – In mid-November, Kazakhstan hosted the third annual “Astana Club,” a new independent and unbiased platform for dialogue among international experts, politicians, and media representatives on the “critical issues affecting all the countries of Eurasia.” The event epitomized Kazakhstan’s foreign policy over the last two decades, at a moment when that policy is set to confront unprecedented tests.

Participants in this year’s Astana Club were as high-profile as they were diverse. They included representatives of leading think tanks from Europe, Asia, the United States, and the Middle East; former presidents, such as Turkey’s Abdullah Gül and Slovenia’s Danilo Türk; former European Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner; Indian member of parliament Shashi Tharoor; and CEO of Channel One Russia Konstantin Ernst.

The discussions took place in the Nazarbayev Centre, housed in an imposing and futuristic building designed by the renowned British architect Norman Foster. In a scene reminiscent of the intergalactic assembly in Star Wars, participants sat at a large table encircling a map of Eurasia to discuss the emerging world order, great power rivalries, sanction wars, nuclear proliferation, and regional integration projects.

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