PRESIDENTS NAZARBAYEV AND OBAMA MEET IN WASHINGTON, D.C. TO DISCUSS KAZAKH-U.S. STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
Washington, April 12: Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev and U.S. President Barack Obama met on April 11 in Washington, DC ahead of the Global Nuclear Security Summit.
The two Presidents have had a comprehensive exchange on global security, including nonproliferation and stabilization in Afghanistan, democratic development, economic ties and investment opportunities, energy partnership, and Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Both leaders noted with satisfaction their shared approach to major international challenges on global and regional scale.
President Nazarbayev reaffirmed his support for President Obama’s nonproliferation initiatives, including the Nuclear Security Summit to convene in Washington DC on April 12. He also reiterated Kazakhstan’s strong commitment to further strengthening of bilateral cooperation with the United States in the interest of a more secure and prosperous world.
“I commend President Obama for his leadership in convening the Nuclear Security Summit. It will provide a framework for preventing nuclear terrorism,” President Nazarbayev said earlier.
According to the US National Security Council Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs Michael McFaul, President Obama praised President Nazarbayev as “one of the model leaders in the world. We could not have this summit without his presence."
After the meeting, the two Presidents issued a Joint Statement below detailing some of the most important topics they discussed:
JOINT STATEMENT MEETING OF KAZAKHSTAN'S PRESIDENT N.NAZARBAYEV
AND U.S. PRESIDENT OBAMA
At their meeting on April 11 in Washington, Presidents Nazarbayev and Obama discussed strengthening the strategic partnership between the United States and Kazakhstan and pledged to intensify bilateral cooperation to promote nuclear safety and non-proliferation, regional stability in Central Asia, economic prosperity, and universal values.
Nuclear Security and Non-Proliferation: The Presidents underlined the 15-year track record of close cooperation between Kazakhstan and the United States and success in reducing nuclear threats in Kazakhstan and around the world. They share the vision of a world without nuclear weapons. The U.S. appreciates the leadership of President Nazarbayev and the contribution of Kazakhstan to nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. The leaders noted with satisfaction the successful implementation of the Cooperative Threat Reduction program and continued cooperation, including on the decommissioning of the BN-350 nuclear reactor at Aktau and the construction of a central reference laboratory in Almaty. Cooperation also proceeds on the conversion of the research reactor in Alatau and the elimination of highly enriched uranium stored there, as called for in the Nuclear Security Summit Communiqué.
President Obama thanked President Nazarbayev for his offer to host an International Nuclear Fuel Bank and expressed his support for Kazakhstan’s intention to become a member of the IAEA Board of Governors.
Kazakhstan is eager to speed up the mutually agreed work at the former nuclear test site in support of President Obama’s speech in Prague, which called for accelerated action to secure vulnerable nuclear materials.
Afghanistan: The Presidents highlighted their shared understanding of the common threats and challenges posed by the situation in Afghanistan.
President Obama expressed appreciation for Kazakhstan’s humanitarian, economic and educational support for the Afghan people, including the decision by the Government of Kazakhstan to contribute $50 million dollars to a new program to educate Afghans at Kazakh universities. The Presidents discussed ways to enhance Kazakhstan’s critical role in the Northern Distribution Network and welcomed a new bilateral agreement enabling U.S. cargo flights across Kazakhstan.
Investment and Trade: Recognizing Kazakhstan’s achievements in social and economic development the United States will continue to support the development of a diversified economy in Kazakhstan through the Program for Economic Development and the Kazakhstan-US Public Private Economic Partnership Initiative.
The Presidents positively assessed the current state of bilateral economic relations. They agreed to redouble efforts to complete Kazakhstan’s WTO accession and support the work of the Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.
The Presidents reconfirmed the importance of the long-term energy partnership between the two countries. The United States welcomed Kazakhstan’s emergence as the top global uranium producer as an important development for diversification of global energy supply.
The United States and Kazakhstan expressed their intention to enhance cooperation on nuclear energy and development of alternative energy resources. The leaders took positive note of the signing of the bilateral Science and Technology Agreement, which will increase scientific cooperation and exchanges.
The parties will encourage large-scale bilateral commercial cooperation in agriculture that can make a significant contribution to the US and UN initiatives on global food security.
U.S.-Kazakhstan Bilateral Consultation: The Presidents welcomed the first session of annual bilateral consultations on March 8-9, 2010 in Washington D.C. The purpose of the new forum is to advance all the dimensions of the bilateral relationship, including security and nonproliferation cooperation, universal values, and our economic and energy partnership.
Democracy: The United States encouraged Kazakhstan to implement its forward looking 2009-2012 National Human Rights Action Plan and 2010-2020 Legal Concept. The United States will continue to support the Kazakhstan Government’s efforts to liberalize its media and democratize its political system, including through legal reform.
Enhancing Contacts between Our Societies: President Obama and President Nazarbayev underlined the importance of strengthening contacts between American and Kazakh civil societies, including NGOs, religious groups and educational institutions. Nazarbayev welcomed President Obama’s Cairo Speech and outreach to the Muslim world. The Presidents emphasized the important role of religious freedom and tolerance in developing stable societies and declared their support of Kazakhstan’s relevant efforts as 2010 OSCE Chairman and 2011 Chairman of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE): President Obama underlined the historic significance of Kazakhstan’s OSCE Chairmanship, the first time a former republic of the Soviet Union has chaired the OSCE. The Presidents discussed Kazakhstan’s OSCE Chairmanship and its proposal to host an OSCE Summit. They noted positively Kazakhstan’s initiative to promote greater OSCE engagement in Afghanistan, to hold a Review Conference in Kazakhstan on Implementation of Commitments in the Human Dimension, and to advance the Corfu process. The United States and Kazakhstan agreed to work on developing a substantive agenda for an OSCE Summit.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev invited President Barack Obama to visit Kazakhstan at his convenience. The invitation was received with appreciation.