Israel, Kazakhstan Sign Defense Pact

January 20, 2014

Defense Ministers Moshe Ya’alon of Israel and Adilbek Dzhaksbekov of Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic that has a Sunni Muslim majority, sign a security cooperation accord in Tel Aviv that formalizes the military and defense ties between their nations, which have had diplomatic relations since 1992. Despite a rough patch in 2004, when corruption charges related to the sale of Israeli artillery systems contributed to the firing of the Kazakh defense minster and other senior officials, Israel and Kazakhstan have grown closer over two decades and signed agreements on telecommunications, technology and science. The defense pact is expected to boost Israel’s defense exports while strengthening Kazakhstan’s security by increasing its capacity in unmanned systems, border protection, satellite communications, and command and control capabilities. While the defense ministers decline to provide additional details, they release statements praising each other. “We appreciate Kazakhstan, a country with a desire and intention to strengthen the cooperation with us,” Ya’alon says. “This is my first visit to Israel, and I hope it will serve as a milestone for enhancing cooperation between the two countries,” Dzhaksbekov says. “Israel is one of the leading countries in trading with Kazakhstan. … The economy always strengthens cooperation, and I hope that this visit will strengthen the security cooperation between the countries.”