The central Asian country of Kazakhstan was brought to the world’s attention again this week, but not because of the infamous movie “Borat”. The largely Sunni Muslim country is making news once again when defense ministers from Israel and Kazakhstan signed a historic security cooperation accord that formalized the military and defense industries between the two countries.
Signed in Tel Aviv last week by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Kazakh Defense Minister Adilbek Dzhaksbekov, Defense News reports that the bilateral agreement provides a broad framework allowing for the development of future defense trade and cooperation between the two nations. Since 1992, Israel and Kazakstan have had formal diplomatic ties that have allowed the two countries to sign various cooperation agreements in telecommunications, technology, and science.
“We appreciate Kazakhstan, a country with a desire to strengthen cooperation with us,” said Ya’alon. Dzhaksbekov stated, “Israel is known worldwide for its capabilities. I hope this visit will mark a milestone for strengthened defense and cooperation between our countries.”
It is expected that the two countries will expand cooperation in areas dealing with unmanned systems, border security, satellite communications, and command and control capabilities. The new agreement comes at a time when Israel is broadening its relations with other countries. Israel recently announced a joint technology fund with India and expanded defense exports with China. Analysts estimate that the new agreement with Kazakhstan will dramatically increase Israeli defense exports.
Regarding military cooperation, the Kazakh Defense Minister and Israeli President Shimon Peres discussed future military training exercises between the two countries. According to a press release by Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Defense, “Today the defining tendency of development of the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan is its professionalization. At the present stage changed forms and methods of warfare and applied them in armaments and military equipment require highly skilled experts – military professionals. In this context, we attach particular importance to the possibility of studying the experience of combat training of the Armed Forces of Israel.”