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Kazakhstan Going Into Soft Power Overdrive

The Winter Universiade, or World Student Games, which opened on January 29 in Almaty, saw 109 billion tenge ($330 million) worth of investment in related infrastructure, including the 12,000 capacity Almaty Arena. As part of its major PR push to portray Kazakhstan as a global player, Almaty hopes to use media coverage of the games to bolster the nation’s international credentials. (Photo: Paul Bartlett)

Kazakhstan made the front pages of international newspapers last month when it hosted the first round of Syria peace talks. The diplomatic initiative is kicking off a year that will see a major PR push to portray Kazakhstan as a global player.
 
For some years now, Kazakhstan has embraced soft power with a vengeance, as part of its mission to gain a prominent spot on the world stage. It is taking things to a new level in 2017. With one session of peace talks already under its belt, the capital city, Astana, is readying for the EXPO-2017 international fair. Down in the business capital, Almaty, the winter version of the World Student Games closes this week. Meanwhile, in New York, Kazakhstan’s diplomats have just begun their two-year stint on the United Nations Security Council.
 

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Paul Bartlett is an Almaty-based freelance writer.

Kazakhstan Going Into Soft Power Overdrive

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