Kazakh FM, US Secretary of State Agree to Pursue New Avenues of Cooperation

Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov and United States Secretary of State John Kerry agreed during a Sept. 20 meeting in New York to pursue new avenues of bilateral cooperation. The meeting also launched the fifth meeting of the United States-Kazakhstan Strategic Partnership Dialogue.

On the eve of celebrating the 25th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence and the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries, the sides agreed that relations are stronger than ever.

As the first Central Asian state elected to the UN Security Council, Kazakhstan looks forward to working closely with the U.S. to advance shared priorities, the joint statement issued by the Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan and the U.S. Department of State after the meeting said.

The United States welcomed Kazakhstan’s leadership in supporting security and development in Afghanistan and in advancing regional economic integration in Central Asia, including through engagement in the C5+1 (five Central Asian countries plus the United States) format, the statement said. Kazakhstan and the United States reaffirmed their shared commitment to preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Both sides pledged to deepen their cooperation in countering the threats of terrorism and violent extremism.

Kazakhstan and the United States committed to combating climate change, and the United States welcomed Kazakhstan’s determination to ratify the Paris Climate Agreement by the end of this year. The two sides also stressed the importance of energy security and the United States welcomed EXPO 2017 to be held in Astana with the focus on green energy.

Delegations headed by Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Yerzhan Ashikbayev and Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal also discussed Kazakhstan-U.S. cooperation and challenges in international and regional affairs, security, economics, environment, human rights and other issues of mutual interest.

Ashikbayev also met separately with Assistant Secretary for International Organisation Affairs Bathsheba Crocker, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour Tom Malinowski, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom David Saperstein, Special Representative to Muslim Communities Shaarik Zafar, and Special Envoy to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Arsalan Suleman and discussed ways to advance bilateral agenda and opportunities for cooperation across the range of bilateral, regional and global issues.

The two country representatives agreed to hold a full interagency Strategic Partnership Dialogue in 2017 and continue high-level engagement in other areas.

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