During his visit to Wahington, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry conducted on December 11 the third regular meeting of the bilateral Strategic Partnership Dialogue committee, reports the press service of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry.
The counterparts co-chaired the committee, which covered a broad range of issues of the Kazakh-US cooperation.
Addressing reporters on the eve of the meeting, Mr. Kerry congratulated Kazakhstan with the upcoming 23rd anniversary of independence and determined a broad spectrum of bilateral cooperation, stressing that” the relationship between the United States and Kazakhstan is really one of the most consequential for us, and we’re very grateful for the leadership that Kazakhstan has been showing.”
Mr. Kerry also highlighted Kazakhstan’s initiative to implement an education program for Afghan students, calling it “a critical component of capacity building for Afghanistan and of stability.”
During the talks, Secretary Kerry commended gradually developing strategic partnership between the states and balanced foreign policy of Kazakhstan. He confirmed the US support for Kazakhstan’s hosting the international exhibition EXPO-2017.
He reaffirmed the US determination to foster Kazakhstan’s fastest accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Mr. Idrissov and Mr. Kerry also discussed pressing issues of international agenda. Minister Idrissov reaffirmed Kazakhstan’s steadfast commitment against terrorism and extremism, as well as unacceptability of using religion as a cover for terroristic actions
The counterparts also touched upon the situation in Ukraine. Mr. Idrissov expressed deep concern about the ongoing conflict in the country, adopted sanctions and aggravating relations between Kazakhstan’s main partners, The meeting highlighted the importance of an early end to the armed confrontation in Ukraine and resolving conflicts by peaceful means through negotiations, including on the basis of the Minsk agreements.
At the end of the meeting of the Strategic Partnership Dialogue, a joint statement was adopted. It contained Kazakhstan’s and US positions on a number of issues, including partnership on global issues, non-proliferation, democracy, human rights and development, trade, investment and energy, Afghanistan and regional integration, cooperation on security and law enforcement, military cooperation, education, partnerships in science and technology, humanitarian aid and development assistance and the EXPO 2017.
At the meeting with US President’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice at the White House, Mr. Idrissov and Mrs. Rice touched upon strengthening regional stability and sustainable development. She expressed gratitude for the constructive role Kazakhstan played in the region and in the international arena. Minister Idrissov also held talks with the Deputy National Security Advisor for President Tony Blinken, covering the entire range of bilateral cooperation and regional issues.
At the meetings with US Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews and Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, the parties discussed further intensification of trade and investment and energy cooperation.
Mr. Andrews confirmed the US interest in “cooperation to increase the investment attractiveness of Kazakhstan and expand the presence of American business in the state.” He stated that proposed large-scale infrastructure projects in accordance with the new economic policy “Nurly Zhol”, announced by President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, were “a testament to the strategic vision of Kazakhstan’s President and were very positively perceived by American business." The parties emphasized significance of the qualitative preparations to the EXPO-2017 and creation of conditions for productive participation of US companies in it. They also highlighted the importance to further realize and fully implement the potential of Special American Business Internship Trainings (SABIT). 400 Kazakhstan’s businessmen have gone through the trainings.
The meeting with Mrs. Sherwood-Randall focused on bilateral cooperation in the field of nuclear energy and strengthening the non-proliferation regime, stressing the importance of the bilateral Energy Commission, which 10th anniversary was celebrated this year in Astana. The agenda of the commission is expanding and covers issues of oil and nuclear power, cooperation on energy efficiency and development of renewable energy sources.
The same day, Mr. Idrissov gave interview to the US and international media. He elaborated the Kazakh-US cooperation and approaches to the major international issues, including the crises in Ukraine.