Media Contact: Shelly Han
WASHINGTON—Helsinki Commission Chairman U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) met with former OSCE Chairman-in-Office Foreign Minister Saudabayev on January 26 and received Kazakhstan’s Dostyq (Friendship) Award. In accepting the award, Senator Cardin and Congressman Hastings expressed their appreciation for the time and effort that Kazakhstan devoted to its OSCE Chairmanship, and discussed the need for Kazakhstan to remain a leader in implementing OSCE commitments.
“We appreciate that, for the first time, a Central Asian country stepped forward to lead the Organization,” Senator Cardin said. “Having held that position, and now as a member of the OSCE Troika, it is imperative that Kazakhstan continue its leadership role and fully implement its OSCE commitments, including those concerning free and fair elections.”
“I congratulate Kazakhstan on a successful OSCE Chairmanship and summit,” said Congressman Hastings. “In the spirit of friendship, we will continue to discuss ways to strengthen respect for our shared OSCE principles. I urge President Nazarbayev to ensure that the political opposition have the chance to participate in open elections. I hope that in this way, his legacy will be one of building democratic institutions in his country.”