The diplomatic service is a good and virtuous profession that familiarizes any country’s nationals with something foreign and

external, and provides them with the correct knowledge about other
countries. It further familiarises them with the diplomatic instruments
traditionally utilised to harmonise hostile parties. Figuratively, it is
possible to ‘open the clenched fist and clench the open palm’ through
the diplomatic skills.

Diplomacy is the art of:

●       Protecting the country’s national interests without failure by finding
appropriate solutions and escape routes from difficult situations;
●       Mediating while ensuring that prudence gains an upper hand over anger,
and convincing hotheads to exercise restraint;
●       Encouraging and stimulating cooperation, while calling for compromise
and mitigating negative impacts;
●       Peace-making in order to foster a common ground through negotiations
based on knowledge and competence, but not force (i.e. not through a
belligerent solution).

This is why diplomacy is a universal field that requires eloquence, as
well as masterful skills to solve problems and address concerns through
thoughtful approaches, while “finding way to the hearts through
touching/striking right chords.”

Our people have a beautiful ancient proverb – “While a messenger can
cause disagreement/discord or variance, the ambassador must ensure a
truce.” There are many model precepts about the ambassador in the
ancient Turkic writings. One finds them for instance, in the works of
prominent figures from the Land of Great Steppe in the heart of Eurasia.
Examples include famous medieval political leaders and
scholars/philosophers such as Mahmud Kashgari (1005 CE – 1102 CE), Yusuf
Balasaguni (1019 CE – 1077 CE), among others.

We therefore witness that kind, benevolent and tolerant people of the
Great Steppe from olden times attached great importance to the
ambassadorial profession, while making diplomacy an important tool of
their day-to-day activities. This way they could transform hospitality
and cordiality into their modus vivendi.

Fundamentally, the innate qualities of the Turkic people have always
included good neighbourliness, rapprochement and reconciliation. It is
necessary to emphasize one historical fact. Yusuf Balasaguni served as a
vizier (high-ranking political advisor or minister in the Muslim world)
to the Khans (emperors/kings) and the Beks
(chiefs/commanders/noblemen/earls) who ruled the Kara-Khanid Khanate.
During his time, he wrote a famous treatise entitled “Qutty
Bılık”/“Kutadgu Bilig” (“Blessed Knowledge”). This wise oeuvre
recognized as the guide to political and military leadership.
Remarkably, that instructive work has a Chapter entitled, “What an
ambassador should be” that paints a vivid picture of the endurance and
professional development of Turkic diplomacy.

This treatise briefly states, “An ambassador should be the best of all
the servants of the God Almighty.”  It maintains that the major
conditions for the ambassador to be sent abroad with a broad mandate
given by his/her state are as follows:

He/she should be intelligent, polite, well-mannered, stately, dignified,
and handsome, and possess a harmonious personality.  Besides, one of the
main qualities is that the ambassador must master many languages and
know several alphabets/writing systems:

“If a human speaks proudly with dignity and masters many languages;
If a human writes skilfully and knows a lot of alphabets;
If a human succeeds to acquire such arts and knowledge;
It is absolutely right to appoint such a person as ambassador.”

The wise thinker from the Land of Great Steppe summarizes that the high
office of the ambassador is a very reputable, prestigious and privileged
post with the international status and immunities granted to it. The
direct quote from the book is as follows:

“The Ambassador shall be able to hear and listen, know information
better than others, and bring it timely to the attention of the
leadership of his/her and the accredited country. And above all, the
ambassador shall not die in order to be able to exercise and complete
his/her mission.”

Another important condition for the Turkic ambassadors, according to
Yusuf Balasaguni, is to be the eyes, ears and voice of all the fraternal
Turkic peoples, who established the diplomatic relations with foreign
countries. Hence, the medieval author outlines that, “they shall strive
to master all the Turkic languages, understand their words and speak
fluently, as well as to promote the national (state) interests of all
the Turkic countries.”

Kazakhstan is a peace-loving and peace-building country, which from the
very the beginning adhered to the principles of consensus, mutual
agreement and cohesion. However, it is clear that the Kazakhstani
professional diplomacy was formed and developed after our country gained
Independence. The Leader of the Nation (Elbasy), shaping the pillars of
our country’s foreign policy at the early years of freedom, prioritized
such important basic principles as friendliness and good

Despite the tense geopolitical conflicts, His Excellency pursued a
prudent multi-faceted policy and established friendly relations with the
countries of the world. He managed to turn our vast country into an
“island of friendship” and thereby confounded the negative predictions
of some who foresaw the ‘Balkanization’ of Kazakhstan and its
degeneration into a Central Asian hotspot. The noble qualities of a true
diplomat, such as quick communication, as well as convergence of common
interests and values are the qualities of Elbasy, who always strove to
avoid and avert conflicts inside and outside in order to make our future

The fact that Elbasy as a reputable leader gained authority in the
international arena and a prestigious place at the heart of contemporary
multilateralism and global elite, becoming its shining member, is
because of His Excellency’s special personal talent and unique identity.
That is why our country has successfully completed the extraordinarily
complex task of the boundary delimitation. Thus, the continent’s largest
border with our neighbours has become a prominent feature of our
Homeland. Instead of building barriers and border walls on its
frontiers, our country preferred surrounding the Land of the Great
Steppe in the Heart of Eurasia with friends. Kazakhstan has thus set an
excellent example for the entire world community of exercising peaceful
and transparent foreign policy. Besides, our country has catalysed many
global initiatives. The Republic of Kazakhstan with its deep knowledge
of peace-making has become a reliable partner to end conflicts through

H.E. President Kassym-Jomart K. Tokayev of Kazakhstan, a professional
diplomat who followed in the footsteps of Elbasy, formed and
successfully implemented the country’s foreign policy strategy. He was
the first official amongst nationals of Asian states to serve in the
positions of UN Under-Secretary-General, Director-General  of the
Headquarters of the United Nations in Europe (UN Office in Geneva,
UNOG),  Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament, an
impressive achievement for Kazakh diplomacy! And the election of His
Excellency as President of Kazakhstan is thus an important milestone in
the Kazakh history, especially through the prism of the country’s
national diplomacy.

Today, many citizens of our country serve with dignity in various
international organizations and Kazakhstani embassies. We express our
warmest congratulations on 2 July – the Day of the Diplomatic Service of
the Republic of Kazakhstan, the golden pillar of our international
relations. Throughout the way of our nation into a bright future, we
shall honour the heroes of the unarmed front, who are flying the sacred
sky-blue flag of our country abroad and cementing its statehood!


Professor Darhan QYDYRALI is Chairman of the Board of the leading Kazakh media outlet ‘Egemen Qazaqstan’ (‘Sovereign Kazakhstan’) as well as President of the International Turkic Academy (TWESCO).


The Diplomatic Informer
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