Foreign Minister Idrissov and Secretary Clinton Discuss Kazakhstan-U.S. Strategic Partnership Issues

Oct 4. MFA

Foreign Minister Idrissov and Secretary Clinton Discuss Kazakhstan-U.S. Strategic Partnership IssuesKazakhstan’s newly appointed Foreign Minister, Erlan Idrissov, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held a bilateral meeting on Oct 3, 2012 in Washington to discuss the shared priorities of the strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and the United States.

Following the meeting, the two ministers held a joint press conference where they reported on the results of the meeting and responded to questions from U.S. and Kazakh journalists.

Secretary Clinton thanked Minister Idrissov for Kazakhstan’s support of international efforts to stabilize Afghanistan, including its constructive role in opening the Northern Distribution Network, as well as its training support for Afghan national security forces.

“As a critical link in the Northern Distribution Network, Kazakhstan is part of our efforts to supply and support our troops in Afghanistan,” Secretary Clinton said. “Kazakhstan is looking forward to a future of greater regional cooperation and economic integration after the security transition ends in 2014. They have pledged to support the Afghan National Security Forces. They are focusing on infrastructure projects and training Afghan officials.”

She also underlined the active role Kazakhstan plays in implementing the vision of the “New Silk Road” initiative, which is aimed at enhancing trade and economic relations between countries in the Central Asian region.

“Kazakhstan has also embraced the vision for a New Silk Road that will strengthen the region’s economic ties, where goods and people can move freely throughout the region,” the Secretary added. “I thanked the Minister for everything that Kazakhstan is doing to promote stability and prosperity in Afghanistan and elsewhere.”

Secretary Clinton also praised Kazakhstan’s leadership in the global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and hailed it as a global leader.

“We view Kazakhstan as not just a regional presence but a global leader. Certainly when it comes to nonproliferation, there are few countries that can match Kazakhstan’s experience and credibility when talking about nonproliferation,” Clinton told reporters following the meeting with Kazakhstan’s former U.S. Ambassador at the Department of State on Wednesday, Silk Road Newsline reports.

“We talked about our partnership on nuclear nonproliferation, disarmament, and security. I [also] thanked the Foreign Minister for Kazakhstan’s work with the IAEA to establish an international nuclear fuel bank,” Clinton added.

In his remarks, Foreign Minister Idrissov stressed Kazakhstan’s desire to turn Central Asia “into a genuine platform for cooperation” and to further strengthen the Kazakh-U.S. relationship.

“Over the years of Kazakhstan’s young independence, our nations have built a relationship which is robust, dynamic, and broad, covering vast areas ranging from nuclear nonproliferation to energy partnership, nation building, and regional security,” Minister Idrissov said. “I will try to do my best to make sure that our relations go from strength to strength to the benefit of our nations, our region, and the entire world.”

Describing Kazakhstan as an important player in the key issues of international security, Secretary Clinton recalled her visit as First Lady to Kazakhstan in the 1990s, and compared what she saw then to her recent visit in 2010.

“During this short period of time,” she said, “Kazakhstan has made “remarkable progress.”

Upon completion of Idrissov’s tour of service as Kazakhstan’s chief diplomat in the United States, Secretary Clinton acknowledged his contribution to strengthening bilateral cooperation.