Saturday, April 06, 2013

the sinking dreams of an almaty accord

last february, kazakhstan hosted P5+1 talks with iran over its nuclear program in almaty. it was a feather in president nazarbayev's cap to be able to host those talks. not only does it get recognition for the country, it also highlights the fact that kazakhstan is one of the few countries to have voluntarily given up a sizable nuclear arsenal. on top of that, there was a chance, however slight, that the powers would finally reach some overarching accord with iran, an agreement that would probably forever after be referred to as "the almaty accord".

okay, i don't think there was much chance of that actually happening. and, in fact, to the surprise of virtually no one, the parties were unable to reach much of an agreement in february. but they did agree to schedule new talks in april, also to be held in almaty. so kazakhstan was going to get another chance.

which brings us to now. and also brings us to why i feel sorry for kazakhstan right now. while though this is pretty much the result i expected, i can only imagine the dashed hopes for a better boost to its image.

UPDATE (4/8/2013): this article suggests i shouldn't pity the kazakhs. fair enough. it will be interesting to see if almaty becomes a regular summit venue. today's article does make me miss almaty though.