Anwar visits Astana Grand Mosque in Kazakhstan

ASTANA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim commenced his inaugural two-day official visit to Kazakhstan on Thursday (May 16) by visiting the Astana Grand Mosque along the historic Silk Route.

Anwar arrived at the mosque at 2.20pm local time (5.20pm Malaysian time) and was welcomed by Astana Mayor Zhenis Kassymbek and Chief Mufti of the mosque Nauryzbai Taganuly Optenov, who is also the Chairman of the Kazakhstan Spiritual Administration of Muslims (Muftyat)

During the 20-minute visit, Anwar also joined the congregation in prayers and was briefed by Kassymbek on the mosque’s construction, which was completed in 2022 and can accommodate approximately 235,000 worshippers.

Anwar’s visit to the mosque was accompanied by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, Investment, Trade, and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar and Malaysian Ambassador to Kazakhstan Mohd Adli Abdullah.

Later on Thursday, Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev will accord the Prime Minister an official welcoming ceremony at the President’s Palace (Ak Orda) before the two leaders engage in a bilateral meeting for a broader discussion involving both delegations.

A Joint Statement will be signed following the meeting before the Prime Minister and the Malaysian delegation are honoured with a dinner banquet hosted by Tokayev.

Before concluding his visit tomorrow, the Prime Minister is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the Roundtable Session on trade and investment cooperation between Malaysia and Kazakhstan here.

Kazakhstan Prime Minister Olzhas Bektenov is also scheduled to attend the session, which aims to foster collaboration and partnership between companies in both countries in economic, trade, and investment sectors.

The Prime Minister is also scheduled to witness the exchange of several Memoranda of Understanding involving relevant government agencies and businesses from both sides.

Anwar, who officially visited Kyrgyzstan before arriving in Kazakhstan, will proceed with an official visit to Uzbekistan. – Bernama