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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good morning everyone, and welcome to our friends and colleagues.  It’s very good to have Foreign Minister Tileuberdi here today.  We have been strategic partners with Kazakhstan for 30 years, something that we value very much.  We very much support as well the important efforts at political and economic reform that are taking place now in Kazakhstan.  This long relationship is one girded by our strong commitment to Kazakhstan’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity.

We have a lot to talk about today in terms of the region, security.  What we’re seeing among other things from Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine are profound impacts beyond Ukraine, including in Central Asia – food, energy, trade – and we’re working to address all of these second and third order effects of the aggression.

So Mukhtar, it’s very good to have you here.  Thank you for being here, and I look forward to a good conversation.

FOREIGN MINISTER TILEUBERDI:  Dear Secretary of State, thank you for the invitation to visit Washington, D.C., and for the warm welcome.  And I am here today with a special mission to deliver our key messages, to reaffirm our steadfast commitment to further advance our Enhanced Strategic Partnership with the United States.

Just also using this opportunity, I would like to thank you for your initiative to the ministerial meeting on global food security.  I participated in New York this 18 of May, and I believe that it was important and timely event to address the actual issues and the challenges, which is very important especially for our region of Central Asia.  Thank you.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thanks, everyone.

U.S. Department of State

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