Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns will travel to Tashkent, Uzbekistan May 6-7 and Astana, Kazakhstan May 8. In both countries he will affirm the United States’ longstanding commitment to the security and prosperity of Central Asia. As one of the first countries to recognize both Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan following their independence, the United States is proud to cooperate with both countries on a range of issues including enhancing regional security, increasing space for trade and economic engagement, and strengthening support for civil society and human rights.
In Uzbekistan, Deputy Secretary Burns will meet with senior Uzbekistani officials to discuss a range of issues of mutual interest, including Afghanistan, regional politics, economics, and human dimension issues. He will also meet with Uzbekistani media and civil society representatives. In Kazakhstan, Deputy Secretary Burns will meet with senior Kazakhstani officials to discuss a wide range of bilateral and regional issues including Ukraine, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan’s WTO accession, and our joint efforts to advance regional economic integration. He will also meet with civil society leaders and hold a press availability in Astana.