U.S. and Kazakh delegations, headed by Special Envoy James Collins and Foreign Minister Kasymjomart Tokayev, respectively, have completed in Almaty the third session of the U.S.-Kazakh intergovernmental committee. On this occasion the session was elevated to the status of a joint commission with an enhanced mandate. The committee conferred in four panels devoted to foreign policy and security, economics and trade, science and technology, and defense cooperation and defense industry conversion. The American side noted Kazakhstan’s growing success in attracting foreign investments in general, and discussed further U.S. support for Kazakhstan’s industrial privatization, creation of capital markets and a stock exchange, and infrastructure development.
It was agreed to expand Kazakhstan’s participation in NATO’s partnership for Peace program and to hold military exercises within that framework in Kazakhstan in 1997. The U.S.-Kazakhstan joint committee was created in 1994 under a partnership charter signed by Presidents Bill Clinton and Nursultan Nazarbayev, and meets twice annually. In talks with Nazarbayev on options for the transport of Kazakhstani oil and gas to international markets, the U.S. delegation supported planned pipeline routes via Turkey and via Russia. (Interfax, November 20)
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