News Bulletin
Released weekly by the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan
September 9, 2004                                   Vol. 1, No. 41

In this issue:

President Nazarbayev Helps Dedicate Synagogue, Calls on World to Follow Kazakhstan’s Example of Religious Peace
President Urges Tighter Security, Vows to Help Russia Fight Terrorists
Kazakhstan Moves Closer to Introducing Arbitration Tribunals
Almost 9 Million Voters in Kazakhstan As Elections Draw Near
Kazakhstan’s Beryllium Producer Expands into China

Say it in Kazakh:
Plant --- Zauyt
Sales --- Satu
China --- Kytai

President Nazarbayev Helps Dedicate Synagogue, Calls on
World to Follow Kazakhstan’s Example of Religious Peace

President Nursultan Nazarbayev called on the people of the world to follow his country’s example of preserving interethnic and inter-religious harmony as he helped to dedicate the largest synagogue in Central Asia in Kazakhstan’s capital city of Astana on September 7.

At the ceremony dedicating the synagogue, he said: “Recently, an Islamic cultural center was built on the capital’s left bank; a Russian Orthodox church and a Roman Catholic cathedral have also opened their doors. Today, the followers of Judaism have their own house of worship.”

The President continued: “After the visit of Pope John Paul II [in 2001] and the first Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions [in 2003] Astana can rightfully claim to be the spiritual center of Eurasia.”

President Nazarbayev believes Kazakhstan has something to offer to the World: “Today Kazakhstan is able to develop precisely due to hard work, mutual trust and friendship of people of 130 ethnic groups and 45 religions. If all of the world follows the example of the peoples of Kazakhstan, peace and calm will reign on the planet… let it be so!”

As he helped dedicate the synagogue,
the President was joined by the Chief
Rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, Muslim
and Jewish clergy from Kazakhstan,
Israel, Russia, Ukraine, as well as
Alexander Mashkevich, President of
the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress and
the Jewish Congress of Kazakhstan.

The construction of the synagogue,
named “Beit Rachel – Chabad Lubavitch”
in memory of Mr. Machkevich’s mother,
was financed by the Euro-Asian Jewish
Congress based in Almaty.

There is an American connection at Beit
Rachel. Representative Robert Wexler, a
Democratic member of the U.S. Congress
from Florida who is Jewish, laid its
cornerstone on a visit to Astana in 2002.
Ronald Lauder, founder and president of
The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, which
supports Jewish communities in Eastern
Europe, came from New York for the

Speaking at the ceremony, Rabbi Metzger
thanked all those who made the synagogue
possible and remarked that it had been a
long time since a new synagogue opened
its doors in a country that is predominantly
Muslim. Along with other Rabbis, he
presented President Nazarbayev with a
Menorah. Representatives of Jewish
organizations from 60 cities across
Kazakhstan also took part in the

Earlier that day, Rabbi Metzger and Mr.
Mashkevich also presented President
Nazarbayev with the International Maimonidis Prize. Mr. Mashkevich believes the world at this perilous time, needs to see the example of a leader who would find ways to ensure conflict-free coexistence of all peoples and all religions: “This outstanding prize is [therefore] awarded to an outstanding man, the President of Kazakhstan.”

An important part of the ceremony at the synagogue, which will also serve as a Jewish community center, was the presentation of a Torah scroll written in Israel specially for this synagogue. Its last words were inscribed by honored members of Kazakhstan’s Jewish community and Rabbis from abroad. Two more scrolls were handed over to the new synagogue as presents from the Jewish community of Ukraine, and a message was delivered from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

The dedication closed with a special prayer to accompany the arrival of the Torah scrolls, followed by a joyful dance with the Torah scrolls.

Beit Rachel’s site covers 5,600 square meters (60,000 square feet). The tip of the Star of David is 25 meters (75 feet) above ground.

The Jewish Center of Kazakhstan "Chabad Lubavitch", in a press release said: “The opening of the synagogue in the state capital provides a shining example of the policy of tolerance to religious beliefs and clearly demonstrates the sincere aspiration of Kazakhstan’s leadership for peace and accord between nations.”

There are many thousands of Jews in Kazakhstan who, along with Muslims, Christians, and others, experienced a remarkable religious revival since Kazakhstan became independent in 1991.

President Urges Tighter Security, Vows to Help Russia Fight Terrorists

President Nursultan Nazarbayev, responding to the recent spate of terrorist attacks in neighboring Uzbekistan and Russia, urged tougher security measures to keep terrorism and extremism out of Kazakhstan.

He said “we need to create an effective system of security that would correspond to the level and scale of new threats. We need to prevent the spread of all manifestations of terrorism and extremism.”

President Nazarbayev’s statement, which came at a Women’s Forum in Astana on September 7, follows last week’s deadly school seizure in Russia and attacks by Islamic militants earlier this year in neighboring Uzbekistan.

The President said the school seizure in Beslan, which left 338 people dead, “reminded us about the importance of protecting our families, children and loved ones.”

Earlier this week, he called President Vladimir Putin to express condolences and pledge Kazakhstan’s continued support in the fight against terrorism. The people of Kazakhstan held a national minute of silence on September 7. Numerous rallies were also held in Almaty, Karaganda and other cities to show solidarity with the victims of terrorism.

Kazakhstan Moves Closer to Introducing Arbitration Tribunals

A Senate committee has started to review a draft law which would introduce arbitration tribunals into Kazakhstan’s legal system, the Senate’s press office said. This continues a practice of meaningful reforms aimed at bringing Kazakhstan to a par with developed countries.

The bill would establish a new alternative institution to settle disputes and conflicts arising from civic agreements.

Vice Minister of Justice Sabyrzhan Bekbosynov presented the draft measure to members of the Senate’s Legislation and Legal Reform Committee at a hearing on September 8. He said arbitration tribunals have clear advantages such as the freedom of parties to choose a neutral and competent arbiter, less formalities and bureaucracy, confidentiality, and the possibility of settling disputes in one action. He added that most developed nations have national laws establishing arbitration tribunals.

At the measure was introduced, the Senators introduced various amendments and voted to move the bill to the Senate floor.

Almost 9 Million Voters in Kazakhstan As Elections Draw Near

There were almost 9 million eligible voters in Kazakhstan as of June 1, officials announced this week.

Alzhan Braliev, Deputy Chairman of the Agency on Statistics disclosed the figure at a meeting of the Public Council for Settling Informational Disputes in Election Campaign on September 7.

He explained that the number of voters, which stood at 8.93 million, is calculated by adding total numbers of the population and number of migrants above 18 years of age and subtracting the numbers of non-citizens, convicts and those who do not live where they are registered.

Kazakhstan’s Beryllium Producer Expands into China

Kazakhstan’s Ulba Metallurgical Plant has set up a subsidiary, known as Ulba-China Co. Ltd and based in Shanghai, in an effort to expand beryllium sales in China and South East Asia.

The subsidiary was set up in August, the “Kazatomprom” national atomic company, the parent company of Ulba, announced in a press release this week.

Ulba-China Co. Ltd. will provide consumers with beryllium copper ligature, aluminium, nickel, beryllium oxide products, and beryllium bronze. The new company will be better positioned to react to market demand and render after-sales service to its customers.

The shop at Ulba is the world’s second largest producer of beryllium products. It has a full processing cycle from ore concentrate to beryllium metal and alloys.

The Ulba plant also produces uranium pellets for commercial atomic reactors. It cooperates with U.S. and Japanese companies in extracting low-grade uranium from nuclear waste employing its own unique technology. In the Soviet era, the plant was a key part of the Soviet military industrial complex.

Things to Watch:


For back issues, more news and information visit us at www.kazakhembus.com
News Bulletin of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the USA and Canada
(Compiled from own sources and agency reports)
Contact person: Roman Vassilenko
1401 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20036
Tel.: (202) 232- 5488 ext. 104, Fax: (202) 232- 5845

President Nursultan Nazarbayev (L) and Rabbi Yona Metzger shake hands at the dedication as the President prepares to sign the guest book. His was the first signature.

Photo by Jewish Center of Kazakhstan "Chabad Lubavitch"
The new synagogue in Astana.

Photo by Jewish Center of Kazakhstan "Chabad Lubavitch"
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