Today, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells welcomed Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Yerzhan Ashikbayev for the U.S.-Kazakhstan Enhanced Strategic Partnership Dialogue (ESPD). The ESPD was established two years ago to provide an annual forum designed to build trust and advance our common agenda across the full range of bilateral and regional issues.
Participants discussed all aspects of the important and growing U.S.-Kazakhstan relationship, including regional stability and security; economic development and trade; human rights, labor, and religious freedom; as well as education and cultural exchanges. The dialogue today built on a series of productive engagements and cooperative programs implemented by both countries over the last year. Notable successes include important collaboration in aviation and counterterrorism, the signing of an information sharing agreement, the imminent conclusion of an open skies civil air transport agreement, and the repatriation and reintegration of nearly 600 Kazakhstani citizens from Syria.
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