Foreign Secretary Cleverly dons Kazakhstan national dress on visit

Cleverly’s cultural learnings of Kazakhstan! Foreign Secretary James dons national costume, shoots arrow and faces up to bird of prey as he signs mineral deal

  • James Cleverly was pictured meeting falcons, dogs and horses on his state trip
  • He fired a bow and arrows while dressed in traditional Kazakh clothing
  • The Foreign Secretary signed a minerals deal and discussed the war in Ukraine 

The UK’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has donned Kazakhstan’s national dress, fired a bow and arrow and trained in falconry on a visit to the nation during which he signed a mineral trade deal.

The MP for Braintree, Essex, was also photographed being escorted around by two young women dressed in fur during the trip.

He wore a long blue robe which tied at the waist, complete with fur collar and embroidery, and a matching fur hat over his usual suit and tie.

Mr Cleverly was greeted by Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev when he arrived in the country on Saturday.

He is also set to offer UK help to the nation to develop additional export routes that do not pass through Putin’s Russia. 

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly donned a traditional Kazakh robe and hat, both lined with fur

He was pictured holding a large brown falcon on his arm while wearing a falconry glove -although he appeared to be letting his eye off the ball as he looked around

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, left, and Kazakhstan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko shake hands after a joint news conference following their talks in Astana, Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is best-known by some in the West as the birthplace of Sasha Baron-Cohen’s hapless fictional interviewer Borat, from the movie: Borat! Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.

Mr Cleverly held a falcon as he was given an introduction into Kazakh culture near to the capital Astana on Saturday.

He was taught the art by experts, who brought several of the giant birds to greet him.

Mr Cleverly met a whole menagerie of animals during his trip, in-between meetings with senior government members.

Although he initially appeared to be eyeing up the birds somewhat cautiously, he took one onto a gloved hands and smiled as he posed for pictures. 

Handling falcons and other birds of prey is an ancient tradition in Kazakhstan, dating from when they were used for hunting.

He was also pictured with a large dog, who stood leaning up against the Foreign Secretary in greeting.

There were no images showing Mr Cleverly acknowledging the pooch, but with giant falcons around perhaps that was due to his sharp mind keeping tabs on them.

Mr Cleverly took part in a bit of target practice as he fired a bow and arrows alongside other dignitaries just outside the snowy capital.

He appeared deeply focussed as he pulled back the string on the wooden weapon, while still wearing his traditional dress.

It wasn’t all birds of prey and weapons training for the Foreign Secretary though. He was also seen posing for pictures with several Kazakh young women, who wore light brown versions of his own outfit.

Meanwhile the falconer wore a more practical, leather-look outfit with cowboy boots and thick, golden embroidery.

Mr Cleverly’s deep dive into Kazakh culture came as he took the opportunity on his visit to praise Kazakhstan on its steadfast stance over Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Kazakhstan is best-known by some in the West as the birthplace of Sasha Baron-Cohen’s hapless fictional interviewer Borat

Mr Cleverly also fired a bow and arrow during his tour of the country, where he met with other dignitaries

Falconry experts taught Mr Cleverly some of the skills of the art before he took on a bird himself

Cleverly met Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and a number of other senior officials during the trip

He was also seen with a dog, which leant against him for attention as falconers stood and watched

Handling falcons and other birds of prey is an ancient tradition in Kazakhstan, dating from when they were used for hunting

A stern-faced Mr Cleverly greets a horse during his brief visit to the country today

Read more: How CAN Putin be arrested for war crimes? The unlikely circumstances that could see Vladimir held to account for invading Ukraine and abducting children 

Britain will help Kazakhstan develop export routes bypassing Russia, he confirmed on a visit to the Central Asian nation on Saturday, where he also signed a memorandum on supplies of critical minerals.

Cleverly said London valued the position of Astana – which has traditionally been closely allied with Moscow – on the Ukrainian conflict. 

Kazakhstan has refused to support Russia’s invasion or recognise its annexation of Ukrainian territories.

‘The UK greatly appreciates Kazakhstan’s consistent and principled position in supporting Ukraine’s territorial integrity and your desire to bring about resolution to the war in line with the UN charter,’ he told a briefing.

Cleverly, who met Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and a number of other senior officials, said he discussed the disruptions in Kazakh oil exports – most of which go through Russia – and ways to support the development of alternative routes such as the so-called Middle Corridor.

That route crosses the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, and requires significant investment in order to boost its capacity, although Kazakhstan has already started diverting some crude shipments towards it.

Cleverly and Kazakh diplomats said they have signed a memorandum on critical minerals such as rare earth metals, but provided no details about it.

The landlocked former Soviet nation of 20 million accounts for almost a half of the world’s uranium output and has large deposits of rare earth minerals which the West has traditionally sourced from China or Russia.

Kazakhstan, which has the longest land border with Russia of any former Soviet state, called in Russian troops to help put down street demonstrations weeks before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year. 

But since the invasion Tokayev has been careful to keep his distance from Moscow and keep relations open with the West.

The discussion over war in Ukraine came a day after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin. 

Source: Read Full Article