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Kazakh president postpones visit to Vietnam due to wildfires in eastern Kazakhstan

Kazakh president postpones visit to Vietnam due to wildfires in eastern Kazakhstan

Sunday, June 11, 2023, 13:16 GMT+7
Kazakh president postpones visit to Vietnam due to wildfires in eastern Kazakhstan
President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Photo: Kazakhstan’s Presidential Palace

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has postponed his official visit to Vietnam scheduled to take place from Sunday to Tuesday, due to major forest fires in the Abay region of this Central Asian country, said the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday evening.

The ministry cited the state leader of Kazakhstan as saying that he hoped to pay the visit, made at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Vo Van Thuong, at another proper time.

Kazakh media reported that the fires broke out on Thursday in the Batpayevsky forest in the Abay region, located in eastern Kazakhstan, citing lightning strikes as the reason.

AFP cited the country’s Emergency Situations Ministry as confirming that the fires killed at least 14 people and ravaged 60,000 hectares of land as of Sunday.

More than 1,000 people, at least 47 vehicles and three helicopters have joined the effort to cope with the disaster, AFP reported.

Also, around 800 people will be evacuated to nine evacuation centers in Semey, a city in eastern Kazakhstan.

The Kazakh president was set to visit the Abay region to chair an emergency meeting there.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is the second president of Kazakhstan. He had served as acting president of the country for a short period of time.

He was elected president of Kazakhstan in June 2019.

Before becoming the nation’s president, he served as minister of foreign affairs, chairman of the Senate of the Kazakh Parliament, and director-general of the UN Office in Geneva, among others.

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Hong Ngan - Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre News

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