On July 8-10, Kazakhstani Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov paid an official visit to the United States and held meetings with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Deputy National Security Adviser Anthony Blinken, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, and Deputy Secretary of State William Burns. In his talks with high ranking U.S. officials the two sides highlighted the robust and growing bilateral ties between Kazakhstan and the United States and reaffirmed their commitment to further deepen the strategic partnership. It was agreed that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov will co-chair the Strategic Partnership Dialogue.
Its second meeting was held on July 9, 2013. During the meeting the two sides recognized the progress that has been made in the bilateral relationship since the inaugural Strategic Partnership Dialogue in Washington on April 9-10, 2012. The wide-ranging discussions on bilateral and regional issues in the Strategic Partnership Dialogue included the following:
Afghanistan and Regional Integration: The United States welcomes Kazakhstan’s leadership role in supporting security in Afghanistan and the region, including through its assistance to the Afghan National Security Forces and contribution to the Istanbul Process. The United States values Kazakhstan’s $50 million scholarship program to educate one thousand Afghan students in Kazakhstan’s universities. The United States welcomes Kazakhstan’s economic connectivity efforts, in particular, its investments in regional infrastructure such as the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan railroad and the Caspian seaport of Aktau. The United States and Kazakhstan will continue to work closely together to support stability, peace, and prosperity in Afghanistan and the region.
Nuclear Security and Nonproliferation: The United States and Kazakhstan reaffirm their shared commitment to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Threat reduction and nonproliferation remain a cornerstone of our joint efforts to ensure global and regional security. The United States welcomes Kazakhstan’s efforts to establish a regional Nuclear Security Training Center in Kazakhstan. The United States continues to support Kazakhstan’s offer to host an IAEA Low-Enriched Uranium Bank.
Security Cooperation: The United States and Kazakhstan affirm their continued collaboration in support of stability in the region, including through our joint efforts on counterterrorism. Our commitment to security cooperation is demonstrated by activities such as U.S. support for Kazakhstan’s peacekeeping brigade and the annual military exercise Steppe Eagle.
Democracy and Development: The United States and Kazakhstan reaffirm the importance of democratic development and efforts to strengthen representative institutions such as an independent media and local self-government. Both sides acknowledged the importance of a vibrant and varied civil society during the Strategic Partnership Dialogue roundtable on governance and human rights with non-governmental organizations. The United States welcomes Kazakhstan’s efforts to establish a national development assistance agency, KazAID.
Trade, Investment, and Energy: The United States reaffirms its support for Kazakhstan’s membership in the World Trade Organization and will continue to work with Kazakhstan to complete its accession process as soon as possible. The United States places high importance on the intensification of bilateral trade and investment cooperation with Kazakhstan. In particular, the United States and Kazakhstan will work together to support both the diversification of Kazakhstan’s non-oil sector and expansion of its role in global energy security. The United States and Kazakhstan agreed to organize a trade and investment mission to Kazakhstan in the near future. The United States and Kazakhstan look forward to the Energy Partnership’s 10th Annual Meeting in Astana in October 2013.
Science and Technology: The United States and Kazakhstan affirm their commitment to strengthen scientific and technical cooperation between scientists, engineers, and students at research institutes and in the private sector in the context of the Joint Commission on Science and Technology, which was launched June 24-25 of this year in Astana. The United States welcomes Kazakhstan’s climate change initiatives such as the "Green Bridge Initiative" and Expo-2017: Energy of the Future. The United States also appreciates the willingness of Kazakhstan to host the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) headquarters office.
People to People Contacts: The United States and Kazakhstan affirm their commitment to increase people-to-people contacts between the countries. In this regard, both governments look forward to introducing five-year visas on a reciprocal basis for diplomatic, official, student, media, business, and tourist travelers from the United States and Kazakhstan.