Kazakhstan’s Defense Minister Ruslan Zhaksylykov said that the country will host large-scale army exercises with the participation of five countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.
“This year, large-scale exercises with participation of five nations will be conducted in the territory of our country and they should be conducted at a high organizational level. It is extremely important for us to preserve friendly relations between brotherly nations and armed forces to fulfill the task of ensuring security in the Central Asian region,” Ruslan Zhaksylykov said.
The minister noted that the main efforts in the current year should be aimed at improving the quality of combat training and combat readiness of troops.
Meanwhile, the First Deputy Minister of Defense of Kazakhstan Lieutenant-General Marat Khusainov, who is also Chief of the General Staff of the country’s Armed Forces, said more than 160 operational and more than 70,000 combat training events are planned in 2024, the most important of which is the military exercise, dubbed Birlestik (Unity), which involves the naval forces, the Air Force, Special Operations Forces of the Regional Command “West”, and military contingents of Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
It is to be noted that Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are member nations of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS), formerly called the Turkic Council or the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States, which is an international organization comprising prominent independent Turkic countries: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkiye and Uzbekistan. It is an intergovernmental organization whose overarching aim is promoting comprehensive cooperation among Turkic-speaking states. First proposed by the then Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2006, it was founded on October 3, 2009, in Nakhchivan. The General Secretariat is in Istanbul.
Hungary and Turkmenistan are the observer states. Hungary received the observer status in 2018, while Turkmenistan received the observer status in 2021.