ASTANA – The visit of United States Secretary Antony J. Blinken to Kazakhstan is extremely important in terms of giving additional impetus to the strategic cooperation, said Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev during the meeting with the U.S. Secretary Blinken on Feb. 28, reported Akorda press service.
Kazakhstan and the US have “a very good and reliable long-term partnerships” in many strategically important areas like security, energy, trade, and investment, said Tokayev.
The countries have built exemplary bilateral and multilateral collaboration since the beginning of diplomatic relations.
President Tokayev stressed Kazakhstan’s readiness to develop this cooperation further, noting that the US is one of the country’s top investors, with a total investment of more than $62 billion already committed.
“I would like to express our appreciation for the continuous and firm support of the United States for our independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty,” said Tokayev.
U.S. Secretary of State Blinken thanked President Tokayev for his hospitality and conveyed warm greetings from U.S. President Joe Biden. Blinken also commended Kazakhstan’s new path of economic and political transformation.
He noted it is important on a bilateral level, to build on the remarkable work that has been done now over more than 30 years, to deepen and strengthen this partnership.
President Tokayev welcomed U.S. efforts to enhance cooperation with Central Asia in the C5+1 format, emphasizing the importance of the meeting between Blinken and Central Asian foreign ministers later today.
Launched in 2015, the diplomatic dialogue among the five Central Asian countries and Washington aims to boost regional cooperation.
“I look forward to working with our fellow foreign ministers to really engage – in even an ever more practical work in bringing the region together creating greater connections, connectivity and focusing on practical things that we can do to strengthen that work. And I think it will be to the benefit of people living throughout Central Asia, but also to the United States. We are committed to that engagement at the highest levels, and I am just so pleased to be here to advance even further the cooperation that we have,” said Blinken.
The program of Blinken’s visit also includes bilateral talks with the foreign ministers from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.