Obama Recommits to Working with Nazarbayev in New Term

ASTANA – U.S. President Barack Obama sent a letter to President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan congratulating him on his new term in office following the April 26 election and saying he was looking forward to working with him on global and regional security issues, the Akorda announced on April 29.

Nazarbayev-and-Obama

In this file photo from the March 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, U.S. President Barack Obama thanked President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan for his contribution to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

“The United States and Kazakhstan have a strong history of working closely together to address global and regional challenges successfully,” Obama wrote in his letter, according to the announcement. “I look forward to continuing to deepen our bilateral relationship and strategic partnership for the benefit of both our peoples.”

The U.S. president noted that the United States, in partnership with Kazakhstan, was providing support for security in Afghanistan and advancing common goals in nuclear nonproliferation. 

“In a world of many threats, long-term stability and security cannot be achieved without the development of representative and accountable institutions and civil society. I look forward to working together with you on all these important issues for the benefit of both our countries,” the letter said, as quoted by the Akorda.

On behalf of the American people, Obama extended warm greetings to the people of Kazakhstan and wishes for prosperity, peace and well-being. 

Following his win in Sunday’s election with 97.7 percent of the vote, Nazarbayev was inaugurated into his new term as Kazakhstan’s President in an April 29 ceremony at the Palace of Independence in Astana in the presence of members of Parliament, cabinet officials and foreign ambassadors. 

In his inaugural speech, the newly reinstalled president pledged to move quickly on implementing his campaign platform of five institutional reforms that focus on building a meritocratic government, strengthening the rule of law and developing the middle class. Nazarbayev said he would move quickly to appoint the National Modernisation Commission and that he would introduce a 100-step “Plan for the Nation” as a guide for introducing reforms at the commission’s first session.

In related news, the European Union released a statement on April 28 saying “Kazakhstan is a key partner for the EU, and we stand ready to continue our support to the implementation of further reforms to strengthen democracy in Kazakhstan.”