Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made an official visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan. During his visit, Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov co-chaired the fourth meeting of the U.S.-Kazakhstan Strategic Partnership Dialogue. Secretary Kerry expressed the United States’ unwavering support for Kazakhstan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and congratulated Kazakhstan on the 550th anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate.
The United States and Kazakhstan underscored their support for the Minsk process as the only means to resolve the conflict and restore peace in the borderlands of eastern Ukraine. The United States appreciated Kazakhstan’s commitment to expanding economic cooperation with Ukraine. The United States welcomed Kazakhstan’s leadership in supporting security and development in Afghanistan and in advancing regional economic integration in Central Asia, and both sides expressed optimism the newly launched C5+1 framework will contribute to stability and development in Central Asia. Both sides pledged to deepen their cooperation in countering the threats of ISIL, terrorism, and violent extremism, and the United States thanked Kazakhstan for hosting a regional conference on countering violent extremism in June 2015.
The two sides reviewed their strong cooperation on peacekeeping and looked forward to working together to identify potential UN missions in which Kazakhstani peacekeepers could deploy. Both sides affirmed their continued collaboration to expand law enforcement cooperation, noting the importance of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty concluded in February 2015.
The United States and Kazakhstan reaffirmed their shared commitment to preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction. The United States congratulated Kazakhstan on the August signing of an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency to establish a Low Enriched Uranium Bank in Kazakhstan. The United States is pleased to support Kazakhstan’s plans to break ground on a regional Nuclear Security Training Center in Kazakhstan in early 2016. The United States thanked Kazakhstan for its efforts to strengthen non-proliferation and regional stability, including through hosting of two rounds of P5+1 talks, which contributed to the successful conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The United States congratulated Kazakhstan on completing its WTO accession process and encouraged Kazakhstan’s efforts to use the OECD Country Program to make needed reforms. The United States praised Kazakhstan’s investments to improve regional connectivity. The two sides recognized the importance of private-sector innovation and will pursue opportunities to promote entrepreneurship. They also looked forward to concluding an agreement on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.
Kazakhstan and the United States committed to combating climate change by pledging to reduce emissions at the upcoming 21st Conference of the Parties in Paris. The two countries stressed the importance of energy security, and the United States welcomed EXPO-2017, with its focus on green energy. The United States expressed appreciation to Kazakhstan for hosting the International Science and Technology Center.
Kazakhstan and the United States reaffirmed the importance of democratic development and respect for human rights, including efforts to strengthen institutions such as independent media and local government. Both sides acknowledged the importance of a diverse and vibrant civil society. The United States acknowledged the ambitious scope of Kazakhstan’s “100 Steps” reform program and welcomed Kazakhstan’s commitment to ensuring that the reforms strengthen civil society and the rule of law and bolster the free exchange of ideas.
Kazakhstan and the United States affirmed their commitment to increasing educational and professional ties. The United States plans to expand opportunities for Kazakhstanis to study and train in the United States, including through promoting partnerships between U.S. and Kazakhstani universities, and to increase English-language training to support Kazakhstan’s education reforms.
The two sides agreed to hold a full interagency Strategic Partnership Dialogue in 2016 and continue high-level engagement in other fora.