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Scientific Center for Arab Studies named after Nazir Torekulov

On May 23, 2014, at the Faculty of International Relations of the Eurasian National University, the grand opening of the Scientific Center for Arab Studies named after the first Kazakh diplomat Nazir Torekulov took place.

Director of the new center, honored worker of the diplomatic service of the Republic of Kazakhstan, professor Sailau Batyrsha-uly and pro-rector of ENU named after L.N. Gumilyova Dikhan Kamzabekuly, in her congratulatory speech, especially noted the role of Nazir Torekulov in the formation of Kazakhstani diplomacy and talked about his difficult life path.

The opening ceremony was also attended by the director of the department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Bakhytzhan Arystan, the director of the Institute of Diplomacy of the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Saulekul Sailaugyzy, as well as the director of the Yunus Turkish Culture Center Emre Ibrahim Yildirim.

The guests of the event, directly related to Kazakhstani diplomacy and who know firsthand all the nuances of the diplomatic service, congratulated the students and the teaching staff of the Faculty of International Relations of the ENU. L.N. Gumilyov with such a significant event.

Nazir Torekulov is the first Kazakh diplomat, permanent representative of the USSR in the Kingdom of Nejd and Hijaz, now the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The diplomat managed to strengthen the positions of the USSR in Saudi Arabia, contributing to the conclusion of many trade and economic agreements, so necessary for both the Kingdom and the Soviet Union. Subsequently, the leadership of the USSR made the erroneous decision that it was unpromising to deepen cooperation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Nazir Torekulov was recalled to Moscow, where he was accused of espionage and sentenced to capital punishment.

The life of a bright, talented diplomat ended on October 3, 1937. The military collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR was sentenced to death and on the same day the sentence was carried out. On January 28, 1958, 20 years later, the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court posthumously rehabilitated the diplomat for lack of corpus delicti.

Subsequently, the king of Saudi Arabia, having learned about the tragic fate of Nazir Torekulov, broke off diplomatic relations with the USSR until 1991 – the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1992, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia established diplomatic ties with the already independent Republic of Kazakhstan. In Kazakhstan and in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia itself, the memory of the first Kazakh diplomat who made an invaluable contribution to the establishment of diplomatic relations is honored.