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Cooperation of the Republic of Kazakhstan with Vatican

General information

October 17, 1992 – establishment of the diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and the Holy See.
On September 2, 2008 Apostolic Nuncio in Astana, Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendia presented his credentials to the Secretary of State Kanat Saudabayev.
On December 17, 2009 the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kazakhstan to Switzerland Mukhtar Tleuberdi presented his credentials to Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican.

Political relations

In September 1998 during the official visit of the President Nursultan Nazarbayev to the Vatican the Agreement on Relationship between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Holy See was signed.
On September 22-25, 2001 the State pastoral visit of Pope John Paul II was held to Kazakhstan. Meetings were held with the Head of State and Kazakhstan figures of culture and art. John Paul II served a solemn liturgy and Sacred Mass at the Cathedral of the Mother of God of Perpetual Help with priests, monks and seminarians of Kazakhstan and Central Asia.
State visit of the Pope John Paul II to Kazakhstan caused a huge political impact, not only in our country, but around the world. It was especially noted the courage of John Paul II, who decided not to postpone their trip, despite the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001.

In December 2001 the official opening ceremony of the Apostolic Nunciature was held in Astana. The ceremony was attended by heads of diplomatic missions accredited to Kazakhstan.
In July 2009 the Holy See delegation headed by the President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran participated in the III Congress of World and Traditional Religions. For the first time the Vatican was represented at the Congress on a high level, that showed support and recognition of the idea of the President Nursultan Nazarbayev to convene a world level initiative. In the framework of bilateral meetings, Cardinal Jean-L.Tauran was accepted by the Head of State. The sides discussed prospects for further development of bilateral relations and the possibility of organizing the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Kazakhstan.
On November 6, 2009 the official visit of President Nursultan Nazarbayev to the State Vatican was held. During the visit the Head of State met with Pope Benedict XVI and the Holy See’s Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
Having noted the high international authority and the role of our country in the sphere of the international security, combating terrorism and extremism, as well as in the field of interreligious and interethnic dialogue and tolerance, Pope Benedict XVI assured his full support for Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the OSCE and the idea of holding an OSCE summit in Astana.
In the period of November 29 – December 4, 2010 an official visit of the Holy See’s Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone to Kazakhstan was held. During the negotiations with the high leadership of Kazakhstan the Vatican assured its support of the activities of the Congress of World and Traditional Religions.

Besides, T.Bertone met with the Head of Russian Orthodox Church in Kazakhstan Metropolitan Alexander. During this meeting the ceremony of transferring to the Uspensky Cathedral in Astana the gift from the Pope – particles of relics of Sacred Andrey Pervozvannogo took place. It became deeply symbolical event, considering a role of Kazakhstan in advancing the interreligious dialogue of leaders of world religions.
In the framework of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on March 6, 2012 by the initiative of the Kazakh Embassy to Switzerland and to the Vatican the meeting of OIC member states ambassadors, accredited to the Holy See with the Secretary for Relations with States (Foreign Minister) Dominique Mamberti was organized. During the meeting the ambassadors were handed the officially letter-statement of the OIC, which expresses a request for legal compliance with the territorial and legal rights of the Palestinian side in the context of a future agreement between the Vatican and Israel.
On March 13-15, 2012 the Kazakh delegation headed by the Senator of the Kazakh Parliament G.Kasymov and Chairman of the Agency for Religious Affairs K.Lama-Sharif visited the Vatican for the presentation of invitations to the IV Congress of World and Traditional Religions, as well as to discuss status and prospects of bilateral cooperation.
On March 13, 2012 during a meeting with the President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran Bertone the invitation to the IV Congress of World and Traditional Religions was handed. The participation of the Vatican delegation at the Forum was discussed. The Cardinal highly appreciated the initiative of the Head of State to establish Kazakhstan’s unique dialogue platform for religious leaders, he also confirmed his intention attend the Congress.

On March 14, 2012 Kazakh delegation took part in the General Ceremonial Mass and after an audience with Pope Benedict XVI, during which the Special Representative of the President of Kazakhstan, Senator Gani Kassymov personally presented the invitation of the Head of the State to the forthcoming Congress of Religions. The Head of the Catholic Church expressed its great appreciation to the Leader of Kazakhstan in promoting interfaith dialogue and wished a great success to the work of such important Forum.