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New Silk Road Was Right Response to 2008 Global Crisis, Kazakhstan President Confirms

Feb. 17, 2018 (EIRNS)—In a Feb. 12 interview aired by China’s CCTV-13 channel, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev highlighted the particular importance of Xi Jinping’s state visit to Kazakhstan in September 2013. It was during that visit that President Xi, in his speech at the Nazarbayev University, first announced the global initiative to create the Silk Road Economic Belt. President Nazarbayev told CCTV:

“Today we can say that it was a great idea. Because in 2012 the world did not get out of that crisis [in 2008] and all countries faced difficulties. At that time, this initiative, this idea was a must. It was pitched for all states and they gladly picked it up as the idea which would help them get out of the remnants of that crisis,”

reported KazInform news agency.

Xi’s New Silk Road proposal stimulated the Kazakh rail program “Nurly Zhol,” because the route to Europe runs across Kazakhstan, Russia, and farther, Nazarbayev emphasized. With “Nurly Zhol,” Kazakhstan carried out projects for the construction of a railway from Alashankou to Europe through Kazakhstan, the Khorgos Gateway dry port, and a new railway line that connects the country’s south with Europe. Kazakhstan completed the construction of a 2,700-kilometer highway from western China to western Kazakhstan.

Moreover, Kazakhstan was able to create dozens of new enterprises that are much needed for the country, he stressed. And, President Nazarbayev pointed out,

“this road now enables us to enter the Caspian Sea. From the Caspian Sea southward through Iran we became connected with the Persian Gulf, allowing Chinese goods to be safely transported through our country to the Caucasus Corridor. Last year, we connected Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, the Caspian Sea, and Kazakhstan. We built a special port of Kuryk, enabling cargoes to go through the Caucasus and Turkey across the Bosporus to Europe. A lot of work has been done over the years, and we see that this was a very timely, very far-sighted idea that works for the benefit of our nations.”

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