Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake, Jr. and Kazakhstan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Umarov, will sign the U.S.-Kazakhstan Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement on Sunday April 11, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington D.C.
The United States and Kazakhstan have been cooperating on science, including non-proliferation, since 1991. The signing of the Science and Technology Agreement strengthens scientific partnership, and making it easier to conduct joint activities in education, health, biotechnology, energy, seismic research, water resource management, information technology engineering, and the environment.
The United States and Kazakhstan have been negotiating a bilateral Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement (STA) since 2003. STAs provide a framework under which agencies, ministries, institutes, universities and research centers can cooperate through an implementing Memoranda of Understanding. The Agreement also provides for exemption from taxation, customs duties, and fees for cooperative activities under the agreement.
Both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton have advocated “science diplomacy” as an important component of U.S. foreign policy. Science has an inherent ability to bring international collaborators together regardless of nationality or political leanings.
This Agreement with Kazakhstan is the 51st bilateral Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement the United States has signed and the first with a Former Soviet Republic in the Central Asia Region.