Kazakhstan and U.S.A. successfully launch annual bilateral consultations
March 10. KAZINFORM. WASHINGTON
On March 8-10, 2010 Kazakhstan and the United States launched the new format of their bilateral cooperation – the “Mechanism of bilateral consultations”. Since 2009, the mechanism has been a subject of discussions within the framework of the new approach of President Obama’s Administration to enhancing the US political engagement with Kazakhstan.
The first round of consultations was held in Washington, DC. For three days the two working groups chaired by Kazakhstan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Umarov and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake reviewed the state of bilateral cooperation. They discussed ways and shared ideas on how to strengthen and broaden further the strategic partnership between the countries established in 2006. The working groups covered a full range of issues: political cooperation; security, including counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism; Afghanistan; nonproliferation; OSCE; human dimension, including democratic reform, rule of law, human rights, and NGOs; as well as economic development issues, including energy cooperation, trade and investment, health, and education.
“We had a successful completion of the annual bilateral consultations over the past couple of days between the United States and Kazakhstan”, said Assistant Secretary Philip J. Crowley at his daily press briefing at the Department of State on March 10, 2010.
While in Washington, Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Umarov met with a number of U.S. businesses to discuss broader participation of American companies in Kazakhstan’s economic development. He also had a meeting with U.S. human rights NGOs who play a proactive role in democracy building in Kazakhstan. Business and NGO dimensions are unique new elements of Kazakhstan-US bilateral consultations. Though they have always been high on the bilateral agenda, never before have they been integrated into the official intergovernmental cooperation mechanism.
The “Mechanism of Bilateral Consultations” is a great opportunity for Kazakhstan and the United States and it will play a valuable role in reinforcing the core principles of the strategic partnership between the two countries, Kazinform refers to Special Issue No11 of the Kazakhstan Embassy in the U.S.A.