Vice-president Iliana Iotova and President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev Discussed the Study of the Bulgarian Language and the Development of the Bulgarian Community in Kazakhstan
The basic topic of the talks held between Bulgarian Vice-president Iliana Iotova and the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was the study of the Bulgarian language and the development of the Bulgarian community in Kazakhstan. Vice-president Iliana Iotova’s two-day visit to Kazakhstan, made at the invitation of the Bulgarian community, started with a meeting with President Tokayev.
“I congratulate you for you mission. It is our deep conviction that the richness of our country lies in the variety of different nationalities and ethnic groups,” Kazakhstan’s President told Iliana Iotova.
About 140 different nationalities and ethnic group live in Kazakhstan and the Bulgarian community is one of the oldest and is with a recognized status of a national minority. “The integration of the different peoples is one of the priorities of our national policy, in the Conception of civil society development by 2025. In different parts of Kazakhstan, there are five cultural centers of the Bulgarian community,” President Tokayev said and added that the ties with the land of origin should be even more direct and intense.
The talks focused on the representation of the Bulgarian community in Kazakhstan’s Assembly of peoples and the study of the Bulgarian language. The Bulgarian Ministry of Education is ready to send a professional pedagogue and a teacher in Bulgarian language and literature. The idea is that next year a Sunday school in the capital Nursultan should start functioning.
“The aim of our visit is to make the contacts with our compatriots even closer and more energetic and to resume the study of Bulgarian language and literature at school. Unfortunately, Bulgarian language training stopped years ago, the Bulgarian language lectureships in Kazakhstani universities have been closed,” Iliana Iotova said.
The Vice-president highly appreciated the established model of tolerance and understanding among the different peoples and religions and quoted one of the greatest philosophers of Kazakhstan, Abay – “unity should be in the minds.” “This is the only way we can prevent conflicts and crises, which, unfortunately our generation is witnessing,” Vice-president Iotova emphasized. Iliana Iotova presented to President Tokayev the opportunities the Bulgarian state offers for the training of Kazakhstani students of Bulgarian origin.
The Vice-president congratulated Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on his election as President of Kazakhstan and emphasized the great importance of the reforms he has launched in the country’s governance. “The Plan of the nation” is a long-term program of Kazakhstan, which aims to place the country in the top ten of the most developed countries in the world by 2050.
The Bulgarian Vice-president emphasized that Kazakhstan is the EU’s and Bulgaria’s most serious partner in Central Asia. “Bulgaria highly appreciates the stability and friendly relations with Kazakhstan. The two countries can be very good partners and make joint investments in digitalization and high technologies. Bulgaria has very well prepared staff and traditions in this sphere,” Iliana Iotova noted.
The Vice-president drew attention to the high social criteria set by President Tokayev as a requirement to the forthcoming reforms. “We should make economy for the “small person”, for the development of SMEs and thus motivate our citizens,” Iliana Iotova said.
“We expect President Radev in our country next year,” Kazakhstan’s President said and noted the talks held with the Bulgarian Head of State at the 74th UN session in New York. “I hope that by then we will have concrete results and above all a functioning Bulgarian school,” Iliana Iotova said in conclusion.
The Vice-president gave as a gift to Kazakhstan’s President a replica of Khan Kubrat’s sword and a glass painted by the 13-year-old Vesko from the accommodation center of family type “Princess Maria Luiza”, the city of Plovdiv. The glass was painted by Vesko at the 23rd festival of happiness in the village of Yastrebino, organized by the “Childhood” social fund.