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Yearbook 2018

Kazakhstan. According to, Kazakhstan ended its term during the UN Security Council together with Sweden, the Netherlands, Ethiopia and Bolivia. At the beginning of the year, the country's President Nursultan Nazarbayev met US President Donald Trump at the White House, among other things, to discuss strategic partnerships on regional security and economic cooperation, as well as the international issues that Kazakhstan would face in the UN.

2018 Kazakhstan

Talks on the Syrian war continued in the capital Astana between the foreign ministers of the Russian Federation, Iran and Turkey. The so-called Asta process, which began formally in Kazakhstan's capital in 2015, had its eleventh meeting in November, but no concrete results were presented.

In February, President Nazarbayev issued a decree repealing the October 2017 decision to switch from the Cyrillic alphabet to a Latin one. Now you should instead use the same as in Turkmenistan, although Latin but with Turkish as a base. The shift from Cyrillic letters to Latin was seen as a mark on the Russian Federation since relations with Moscow have been strained by, among other things, the Ukrainian crisis and the Russian annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014. According to the new decree, Kazakhstan has seven years to completely transition to the new alphabet.

In September, President Nazarbayev appointed a new Chief of Staff, 47-year-old Asset Issekeshev. This sparked speculation that the country might be about to get a new leader after 78-year-old Nazarbayev, who ruled the country for nearly three decades. Nazarbayev, who has never appointed a successor, has not yet given any indication as to whether he is running for re-election in 2020.

In January, at least 52 people, all Uzbekistanis, were killed in a bus crash in the Aktau region in the northwestern parts of the country when the bus caught fire; only five passengers could get out of the burning bus.

An accident occurred in October in connection with a rocket launch in Kazakhstan. The crew, a Russian cosmonaut and an American astronaut, on the Sojuz spacecraft were forced to make a (successful) emergency landing in a capsule. According to NASA, problems with the launch rocket may have caused the accident. The spacecraft was on its way to the International Space Station ISS when it was interrupted.

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