-Opening the new palace, we are wishing that it will become the pride not only of Astana and Kazakhstan, but also a point of interest in the whole Central Asian region. There always were the direct contact between civilizations and mutual influence between different cultures in Central Asia. There are historically formed strong traditions of tolerance, aspiration for peace and accord, willingness to peacefully resolve all conflicts. The foundation of the Peace and Accord Palace is a shining implementation of the idea, which was suggested at the First Congress of world and traditional religions’ leaders that was held in September 2003 in Astana, and that idea was enthusiastically supported by the participants, who were leading hierarchs of world confessions. At that first time on the Kazakh soil the most reputable religious authorities of the world gathered together and supported our initiative on global dialogue between religions and cultures. The outcomes of the historical gathering inspired us to build up the unique construction combining deeply meaningful spiritual and cultural symbols, - Nursultan Nazarbaev said in the opera theater, which is situated in the Palace.
President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev of Kyrgyzstan, President Emomali Rakhmonov of Tajikistan, who arrived in Astana for the informal summit of Central Asian states, also took part in the ceremony.
The Peace and Accord Palace was designed by British architect Norman Foster. The height of the building is 77 meters; its square consists of 25.5 thousand square meters.
The building of the Palace also incorporates a museum of the national culture of Kazakhstan, Civilization University, exhibition and concert halls, library, research center for world religions and offices of religious confessions.
A festive concert was held at the end of the solemn part of the Peace and Accord Palace’s commencement ceremony, which involved Spanish opera singer Montserrat Caballe and stars of the Kazakh opera art.