US Secretary Blinken Arrives in Kazakhstan to Reaffirm US Support for Central Asia

ASTANA – United States (US) Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken arrived on his first official visit to Kazakhstan on Feb. 28, reported the U.S. Department of State. 

Blinken makes his first visit to Central Asia as U.S. secretary of state on Feb. 28. Photo credit: Reuters.

During his two-day visit, Blinken will meet with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Deputy Prime Minister-Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi to deepen bilateral cooperation. 

The agenda of the visit also includes participation in the C5+1 ministerial meeting with representatives of the five Central Asian states.

In a Feb. 24 special teleconference briefing by the U.S. Department of State, Donald Lu, Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, said the main goal of the visit is to demonstrate that the US is a “reliable partner” who understands the difficulties that Central Asian economies have faced amid the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

This will be the fourth time Blinken will take part in the C5+1 meeting. The latest meeting in this format took place in September in New York on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

“High food prices, high fuel prices, high unemployment, difficulty in exporting their goods, slow post-COVID recovery, and a large influx of migrants from Russia – we see these difficulties and are working to support people in the region,” Lu added. 

Blinken will also travel to Uzbekistan to meet with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. According to Lu, he will attend a civil society event with students in both capitals. 

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