WELCOME TO NEWS ARCHIVE
(News items are given in receeding date order)
(For up to date information click News)
We, the Heads of State or Government of the Member States of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA),
Having met in Almaty at a time of profound changes which are taking place in Asia and the world to set up our vision of security in Asia and enhance our capabilities for co-operation on issues of common concern for our peoples;
Recognising the close link between peace, security and stability in Asia and in the rest of the world;
Committing ourselves to working to ensure peace and security in Asia and making it a region open to dialogue and co-operation;
Believing that the CICA process presents new opportunities for co-operation, peace and security in Asia;
Declaring our determination to form in Asia a common and indivisible area of security, where all states peacefully co-exist, and their peoples live in conditions of peace, freedom and prosperity, and confident that peace, security and development complement, sustain and reinforce each other;
Reaffirming our commitment to the UN Charter, as well as to the Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations Among CICA Member States, which is an integral part of the Almaty Act, as the basis for our future co-operation;
Considering that all aspects of comprehensive security in Asia, including its political and military aspects, confidence-building measures, economic and environmental issues, humanitarian and cultural co-operation, are interdependent and interrelated and should be pursued actively;
Confident that full, equal and comprehensive implementation and observance of the principles, provisions and commitments enshrined in the Almaty Act will create the conditions for advanced co-operation among the CICA Member States and will guide us towards a better future, which our peoples deserve;
Have adopted the following:
I. Security and co-operation
1. The main objective and thrust of the CICA will be to enhance co-operation through elaborating multilateral approaches towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia.
2. In order to achieve this objective, the Member States will take the necessary steps to develop the CICA as a forum for dialogue, consultations and adoption of decisions and measures on the basis of consensus on security issues in Asia.
3. We call upon and continue to encourage all Member States who are parties to a dispute to settle this peacefully in conformity with the principles envisaged in the UN Charter.
4. Recognising the contribution which increased trade and economic co-operation can make for the prosperity and stability in Asia and to the well-being of their peoples, we will make further efforts to promote initiatives in these fields, as mentioned in the Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations among the CICA Member States. We also recognise the need for better co-operation on all issues which constitute risks to the environment.
5. The Member States reiterate their belief that protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the UN Charter and the international conventions and instruments to which they are parties contributes to the consolidation of peace, security and stability in Asia. They also declare their readiness to further their co-operation in this field in a spirit of friendliness.
6. We consider that humanitarian issues, such as natural disasters and refugee flows, are areas of common concern since they also affect stability and security in the region. The Member States are resolved to developing measures, where necessary, to address these issues through co-operation in the region as well as with the UN and other relevant international organisations.
7. We believe that enhancing mutual respect, mutual understanding and tolerance in the relations among civilisations is an important goal for our times. Noting with satisfaction the designation of the first year of the millennium as the year of Dialogue among Civilisations, we shall encourage and strengthen this process.
8. We consider globalisation as a challenge of our time. While it could offer certain opportunities for growth and development, at present the benefits of globalisation are unevenly shared among the nations and much remains to be done to ensure that its benefits be comprehensively and equitably distributed at the global level.
9. Joint actions and co-ordinated responses are necessary to deal with challenges and threats that our states and peoples are faced with.
II. Challenges to security
10. The Member States seek to promote regional and international security and stability, which will also contribute to peaceful settlement of existing and prevention of the emergence of new crisis situations and disputes.
11. The continuing existence and proliferation in all its aspects of nuclear weapons, as well as chemical and biological weapons, pose a great threat to all humanity. The Member States pledge to support the efforts for the global elimination of all weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and therefore they commit themselves to an increased co-operation for the prevention of proliferation of all such weapons, including nuclear weapons, which constitute a particular danger to international peace and security.
12. With the end of the Cold War, the opportunity now exists for the international community to pursue nuclear disarmament as a matter of the highest priority. We shall encourage all nations to keep all options open for achieving this aim, including the possibilities of convening an international conference to identify ways of eliminating nuclear dangers and negotiating a comprehensive and verifiable nuclear weapons convention. We affirm the importance of the early realisation of the universal adherence to the multilaterally negotiated instruments on the elimination of WMD, and urge those states not yet party to these instruments to accede to them as soon as possible.
13. We support the establishment of zones free from nuclear weapons and other WMD in Asia on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the states of the region concerned. The establishment of such zones in regions for which consensus resolutions of the UN General Assembly exist, such as the Middle East and Central Asia, should be encouraged; in this context, we invite adherence to internationally negotiated disarmament and non-proliferation instruments in accordance with all the provisions of the relevant consensus resolutions of the UN and the positions of states concerned on the implementation of these resolutions.
14. The Member States reaffirm their belief in the need of ensuring security at the lowest level of armament and military forces. We recognise the necessity to curb excessive and destabilising accumulation of conventional armaments. We emphasise the importance of the maintenance of the international strategic stability to world peace and security and to the continued progress of arms control and disarmament. We emphasise the importance of multilateral negotiations on the prevention of an arms race in outer space.
15. We believe that direct or indirect threat or use of force in violation of the UN Charter and international law against the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the states; denial of the right to self-determination of peoples which remain under foreign occupation (a right which has to be exercised in accordance with the UN Charter and international law); interference in the internal affairs of states and offensive strategic doctrines pose threats to regional and international peace.
16. The Member States unconditionally and unequivocally condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations as well as any support or acquiescence to it and the failure to directly condemn it. The threat posed by terrorism has been increasingly growing over the last decade. Terrorism in all its forms is a trans-national threat, which endangers the lives of individuals and peoples and undermines the territorial integrity, unity, sovereignty and security of states. The menace of terrorism has been magnified by its close links with drug trafficking, illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons (SALWs) and their transfers in any form to terrorist groups, racist ideologies, separatism, all forms of extremism which present basic sources of financing and providing manpower for terrorist activities. We regard as criminal all acts, methods and practices of terrorism and declare our determination to co-operate on bilateral as well as multilateral basis to combat terrorism including its possible sources. In order to eradicate this menace to peace and security, we shall reinforce and unite our efforts in order not to allow terrorism in any form to be prepared, assisted, launched and financed from the territory of any state and we shall refuse to provide terrorists with safe haven and protection.
17. We recognise that implementation of the UN Conventions will contribute to tackling the problems of terrorism and support the elaboration of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
18. Separatism is one of the main threats and challenges to the security and stability, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of states. The Member States shall not support on the territory of another Member State any separatist movements and entities, and, if such emerge, not to establish political, economic and other kinds of relations with them, not to allow the territories and communications of the Member States to be used by the above-mentioned movements and entities, and not to render them any kind of economic, financial and other assistance. We reaffirm the right of people living under foreign occupation for self-determination in accordance with the UN Charter and international law.
19. We reject the use of religion as a pretext by terrorists and separatist movements and groups to achieve their objectives. We also reject all forms of extremism and will work to promote tolerance among our nations and peoples.
20. Illicit drug trafficking represents a major threat to internal and international stability and security of our states and our continent as a whole as well as to the well-being of our peoples. This problem is closely linked with the socio-economic and political situation in several regions, terrorist activities across the world, and international criminal groups engaged in trans-national crime, money laundering and illicit SALW trafficking. We recognise that there are several states in Asia which require priority attention and assistance by the international community in order to combat drug trafficking. We also recognise the need for effective strategies to reduce production, supply and demand for drugs. In this respect, we will co-operate to monitor suspicious financial flows, including issues related to incomes and transparency of bank operations in accordance with the existing international legal instruments, and to identify the sources of production, consumption and trafficking of drugs. In order to assist the practical implementation of these tasks, multinational training courses and exercises as well as exchange of information among the competent authorities of the Member States will be promoted. We also call upon major consuming countries to play a more active role in providing equipment, training and educational courses, rehabilitation, technical and financial assistance to Asian drug producing and transit countries. Adoption and implementation of crop substitution plans and alternative development strategies in drug producing regions in Asia should also be encouraged to tackle the menace of illicit drugs more effectively.
21. We also recognise corruption as a trans-national crime which calls for concerted multilateral action. In this regard, we emphasise the need for banning the transfer of illicit funds and wealth and also the need for enhanced international co-operation in tracing and repatriating such assets.
22. The Member States recognise that illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons poses a threat to peace and security and is directly linked with terrorist activity, separatist movements, drug trafficking and armed conflicts. In this context, we underline the importance of the Firearms Protocol reached in the framework of the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and the Programme of Action adopted by the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects which was held in New York in July 2001.
23. We are determined to co-operate with each other on bilateral and multilateral basis to prevent such threats to peace and security in Asia.
III. Confidence Building Measures
24. In the context of achieving CICA objectives, we will take the necessary steps for the elaboration and implementation of measures aimed at enhancing co-operation and creating an atmosphere of peace, confidence and friendship. Such measures should be in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter, CICA, and international law. In doing so, we will take into account specific features and characteristics in various regions in Asia and proceed on a gradual and voluntary basis.
25. We encourage all states in the region having disputes to make efforts to solve their disputes peacefully through negotiations in accordance with the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and international law. We recognise that the resolution of territorial and other disputes and implementation of arms control agreements may, depending upon specific situations, facilitate implementation of confidence building measures (CBMs); on the other hand, we also recognise that implementation of CBMs may, depending upon specific situations, facilitate, or create a conducive climate for, the resolution of disputes and arms control agreements.
26. We recognise that disarmament and arms control, universality of all internationally negotiated instruments on the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, promoting non-proliferation, have a significant role in enhancing confidence building among regional states. We affirm that being a State Party to the relevant internationally negotiated instruments should not be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all parties to those treaties to develop research, production and use of nuclear technology, chemical and biological materials and equipment for peaceful purposes in accordance with the provisions of these instruments. We reiterate the importance of negative security assurances to the non-nuclear-weapon states and express our readiness to consider further steps on this subject which could take the form of an internationally legally binding instrument.
27. The Member States will prepare with mutual agreement a "CICA Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures" and proceed on a gradual basis for its implementation. The Catalogue, which will be regularly reviewed and further developed, may include, among others, measures in the militarypolitical, economic and environmental, humanitarian and cultural spheres.
IV. Structure and institutions of CICA
28. In order to facilitate its efficient functioning, we have decided to provide for CICA the necessary structure and institutions, consisting mainly of the following:
1. Regular meetings
29. The meetings of the Heads of State or Government will be convened every four years in order to conduct consultations, review the progress of, and set priorities for CICA activities. Special meetings may be convened as necessary by consensus. Summit meetings will be preceded by meetings of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
30. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs will meet every two years. Their meetings will be the central forum for consultations and examination of all issues related to CICA activities. Special meetings may be convened as necessary by consensus.
31. The Committee of Senior Officials will meet at least once a year to follow-up on previous CICA decisions, carry out consultations on the current CICA issues, oversee the work of Special Working Groups and co-ordinate the work of other meetings. The Committee will also make the necessary preparations for the organisation of the Summit and ministerial meetings, including elaboration of draft documents.
32. Special Working Groups will be established to study specific issues relevant to CICA's areas of interest and to carry out the tasks mandated to them. They will submit the results of their work to the Committee of Senior Officials.
2. Specialised meetings
33. The Member States may agree to convene meetings of other ministers or of the competent national agencies and institutions in order to discuss issues of a specific and/or technical nature.
3. Academic and professional inputs
34. Opportunities will be provided as necessary for academic and professional inputs and reports, as well as assistance and contributions to publications which CICA may decide to produce.
35. In order to provide follow-up and administrative support for regular meetings and political consultations and other activities mentioned in the Almaty Act, we support the establishment of a Secretariat of the CICA. We task our Ministers of Foreign Affairs to finalise the elaboration of all aspects related to the establishment of the Secretariat.
Done in Almaty, June 4, 2002
* * *
CICA Declaration on Eliminating Terrorism
and Promoting Dialogue among Civilizations
We, the Heads of State or Government of the Member States of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), gathered in Almaty for the First CICA Summit, do hereby declare the following:
We are deeply concerned by the increase in all acts of terrorism worldwide, including in CICA Member States. We are fully committed to fighting terrorism and strengthening bilateral, regional and international cooperation, in accordance with the UN Charter, required to meet this challenge. We emphasize the central role of the United Nations, its General Assembly and Security Council, in developing the framework for this.
We express our deepest sorrow over the loss of innocent lives in all acts, methods or practices of terrorism and convey our sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims.
We condemn all forms and manifestations of terrorism, committed no matter when, where or by whom, as barbaric offences and criminal acts indiscriminately directed at the life and well-being of innocent individuals and peoples as well as threatening the peaceful coexistence among nations. No considerations whatsoever can be invoked to justify terrorism.
We are convinced that terrorism constitutes a direct violation of human rights and, in particular, the right to life, freedom, security and development.
We emphasize that eliminating terrorism is the common goal of all cultures and civilizations. We believe that all religions of the world reject violence and terrorism and advocate the protection of human rights.
We underline that terrorism cannot be attributed to religion, nationality, or civilization. We believe that it is essential not to allow terrorists to lure us into a conflict of religions, cultures or civilizations. We also pledge to be particularly vigilant, in order to ensure that the global fight against terrorism does not become a war targeting particular cultures, religions or nations. We all stand united in this fight.
We reaffirm our strong commitment to all norms and principles of international law, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, including the right to self-determination, and the CICA Almaty Act concerning the maintenance of international peace and security and the promotion of good-neighbourly and friendly relations and cooperation among countries.* (The Republic of Azerbaijan reserves its special position on this paragraph).
We actively support efforts undertaken by the international community, in accordance with UN Charter, to combat terrorism. The fight against terrorism should be global, comprehensive and sustained, and not selective or discriminatory and should avoid applying double standards. We are also against using the fight against terrorism as a pretext for interference in the internal affairs of sovereign States. We reject the use of force not in compliance with the UN Charter against sovereign States.
We reaffirm the key significance of, and pledge to fully support implementation of, UN Security Council Resolution 1373 and other relevant UN resolutions on combating terrorism which provide the basic framework for national, regional and international obligations and efforts to combat this universal evil.
We underscore the need to respect human rights and rule of law in combating terrorism.
We encourage States Parties to the various UN anti-terrorism Conventions to consult and cooperate, in accordance with the provisions of these Conventions, to ensure their effective implementation. We will contribute to the early elaboration and adoption by the UN of other appropriate instruments, such as the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
We are open for cooperation in combating terrorism with all other states, regional and international organizations and forums. Taking into account the trans-national character of terrorism, as well as its close links with other challenges and threats to security such as organized crime, narcotics and human trafficking as well as illicit arms trafficking, we will seek to foster cooperation between our relevant authorities and to maintain regular exchange of information in order to enhance international capacity to stop financing of terrorism and eliminate it.
We consider as one of the primary tasks of the international community to strengthen efforts to eliminate poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, extremism, intolerance, entrenched hatred and all forms of discrimination. We believe that it is necessary to ensure sustainable development of all regions of the world and to pay more attention to the socio-economic impact of globalization. It will also be of high importance for our cause to encourage the peaceful settlement of regional and international crises and conflicts.
We support international efforts for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Afghanistan in order to help revive this country as a stable and prosperous member of the international community.
The CICA Member States intend to strengthen cooperation and dialogue among them in order to promote common values, mutual understanding and confidence for the benefit of the joint fight against terrorism.
We consider CICA as a unique Asian forum which comprises states of different cultures and traditions making it one of the most important mechanisms to promote dialogue among civilizations and cultures. In this context, we reconfirm our full support for the United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/56/6 on Dialogue among Civilizations and are convinced that implementation of its Programme of Action positively contributes to international efforts to attain universal peace, welfare and stability. The CICA Member States intend to comprehensively and actively promote such a dialogue taking into account that Eurasia has not only been a cradle of some of the world's largest civilizations but has also served as a bridge between them.
Almaty, June 4, 2002
* * *
Recommendations for Democratization Assistance in the Caspian Region The Caspian Studies Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University published in May a policy brief "Recommendations for Democratization Assistance in the Caspian Region" by Dr. Vladimir Shkolnikov. Dr. Shkolnikov, an adviser at the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE/ODIHR), discusses Western democratization assistance programs to Caspian states over the last ten years and the lessons policymakers should learn from these programs. He makes the following points: - The euphoria of the early 1990s over the end of the Cold War caused Western organizations to have unrealistic expectations for democratic development in the former Soviet Union. - Western democracy assistance programs have often failed to take the perspective of "the ordinary person on the street" in recipient countries into consideration. Instead, these programs usually reflect external, Western-imposed priorities. - Western democracy-promoting organizations have often failed to appreciate the extent to which traditional institutions in Caspian societies (such as kinship networks) managed to survive the Soviet period and still influence the societies of the region. - Western democracy-promoting organizations have failed to take into consideration the security challenges that Caspian states have had to confront during their first decade of independence. - The war against global terrorism gives the West an opportunity to reevaluate its policies towards the Caspian region. - Rather than relying solely on experiences of North American and Western European democracies, Western democracy-promoting organizations need to draw upon the recent experiences of new democracies of Central Europe in creating new models for the Caspian region. "Western countries and institutions now have an opportunity to develop more sober and even-handed policies towards the Caspian region," says Dr. Shkolnikov. "This would ideally mean that calls for political reforms would also be accompanied by institution-building assistance. "After the military operation in Afghanistan, the Caspian region cannot be treated any longer as a distant corner of the world. In addition, the region's strategic value should not be viewed exclusively in terms of its energy reserves, but also in terms of its secularism, its generally pro-Western aspirations, and (potentially) its ability to prevent the rise of extremist movements." "This new set of circumstances provides for a unique opportunity for the "recalibration" of democracy assistance programs in the Caspian region based on greater mutual understanding," concludes the brief. For the full text and other publications of the Caspian Studies Program, please visit their website (http://ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/BCSIA/SDI.nsf/web/Caspian)
* * *
Kazakhstan, Russia sign agreement to divide Northern Caspian Kazakhstan and Russia signed an agreement Monday May 13 on dividing the northern part of the resource-rich Caspian Sea, an accord both nations said was a big step toward defining ownership rights to the sea's plentiful oil and gas fields. The new agreement, which builds on a July 1998 deal, was signed by President Nursultan Nazarbayev and President Vladimir Putin during a meeting of the Eurasian Economic Community. It sets out specific geographical coordinates for dividing the northern part of the sea according to the principle of a median line. It stipulates that Astana and Moscow will divide the Kurmangazy, Tsentralnoye and Khvalynskoye fields, lying in the border area, on an equal basis. The agreement "is a real breakthrough in bilateral cooperation in the development of the Caspian Sea," President Putin said. President Nazarbayev said the signed document clearly defines principles and legal framework for the cooperation between Astana and Moscow, as well as with foreign companies, in exploring the seabed resources in the northern part of the sea. The President of Kazakhstan stated Monday that the document confirms "correctness and viability of our approaches to resolving the problems of the Caspian, meaning clear-cut separation of rights for mineral resources usage and joint work for efficient usage of water and biological resources of the Caspian." Kazakhstan is widely believed to hold approximately 75 percent of the sea's hydrocarbon reserves. Last year the international consortium, that includes U.S.-based ExxonMobil and Phillips Petroleum, announced the discovery at Kashagan oil field in the Kazakhstan's sector of the sea amounting to the largest oil find in the world in thirty years. Experts believe the Kazakh-Russian deal will further reduce chances of instability or conflict in the Caspian Sea. As President Nazarbayev put it, he hoped the agreement would serve as an example for other Caspian Sea nations in reaching a "comprehensive five-party convention on the legal status of the sea." President Nazarbayev also said, "the agreement should reassure all the investors in the region, both current and potential." Later this year Kazakhstan is to announce its new offshore development program that will include auctioning off dozens of new blocks in the northern Caspian. In his other comments, he noted that he expected an agreement to be reached next month on the transportation of Kazakh oil through Russia. He said the agreement would likely span five to ten years and involve annual transportation of 16 million tons of oil.
* * *
Secretary Rumsfeld in Astana: "We are partners in the global war on terrorism" On April 28, 2002, President Nursultan A. Nazarbayev met visiting U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld in Astana for talks on strengthening the two nations' cooperation in the fight against terrorism. Following the meeting, which centered on the issues of security in the Caspian region and of Kazakhstan's practical support for the anti-terrorist operation, Kazakhstan, already providing overflight rights for combat aircraft, announced plans to offer an airport in the south of the country for emergency landing of coalition aircraft, possibly backed up by two additional airfields. Kazakhstan also confirmed its readiness to provide various types of assistance with respect to transporting and providing humanitarian aid, and to allow the use of its airspace for the transport of humanitarian cargo. Kazakhstan's Minister of Defense Col. Gen. Mukhtar Altynbayev also announced plans to send a group of three high level liaison officers, including a general, to U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., to participate in operational planning along with representatives of 30 other coalition nations. "We had a very good and broad-ranging discussion on political, economic, and security issues," Secretary Rumsfeld said after his talks with President Nazarbayev. "Of course, we are partners in the global war on terrorism, and we discussed the situation in Afghanistan as well as our common interest in an independent, economically health, and secure Afghanistan." "In that connection, we were very pleased that Kazakhstan is sending liaison officers to the Central Command and will be helping to coordinate the various types of assistance that your country has offered to Afghanistan," he added. According to Gen. Altynbayev, during the meeting earlier in the day Secretary Rumsfeld said about 340 U.S. aircraft flew over Kazakhstan since the beginning of the operation in Afghanistan last October, while President Nazarbayev, reportedly referring to coalition forces, said the number was actually reaching 600.
* * *
Central Asian Cooperation Organization established FEBRUARY 28 - Following their meeting in Almaty today, the largest city of Kazakhstan and its former capital, the leaders of four nations - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan signed a treaty on the formal establishment of Central Asian Cooperation (CAC) organization. The main goal of the new grouping would be to promote economic cooperation between its members, including the expedition of the establishment of free trade zones, modernizing transport infrastructure, rational use of water resources of trans-border rivers and reservoirs. The organization will also work to increase cooperation between its members in the security sphere. During their Almaty summit today, presidents Nursultan Nazarbayev, Askar Akayev, Imomali Rakhmonov and Islam Karimov discussed the situation in Afghanistan and the issue of illegal migration. "The events of Sept. 11th and ensuing fight against terrorism have shown us what a powder keg we were living next to, that could have unraveled our perception of stability", said Mr. Nazarbayev at a press conference. "Secondly, if we are to fully open our markets, we will face major problems protecting local producers. These factors made us in the region think about them and the aim of the treaty (on CAC) is to address them", he added. The CAC would also be aiming to promote humanitarian exchanges, including mutual sharing of TV programming. The four leaders also approved the agreement on Committee of CAC national coordinators and agreed that Kazakhstan will be holding a rotating chairmanship until the next summit. The presidents of CAC are being joined in Almaty by leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States, including Russia's Vladimir Putin, Ukraine's Leonid Kuchma, Georgia's Eduard Shevardnadze and others, for an informal "no-ties" CIS summit due to take place March 1 at the famous Chimbulak skiing resort. The summit is expected to include multilateral discussions on the future of the CIS, as well bilateral meetings.
* * *
Kazakhstan supports the U.S. administration's demand on extradition of suspects in Pearl's death On February 25, responding to a media question about the reaction to the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, Secretary of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Kassymzhomart Tokaev declared the "indignation at the execution of the American journalist". "This barbaric action once again proves the need for joining the efforts of all the nations in the fight against international terrorism," he said. "Kazakhstan supports the U.S. administration's demand on extradition of suspects in order to conduct the investigation. Our nation is a strong supporter of decisive actions of international community against the terrorism in all of its manifestations and of further cooperation in that sphere with the United States and other members of the international coalition," Mr. Tokaev stated. On Monday the Union of Journalists of Kazakhstan (UJK) in its statement expressed "sincere condolences" to the family of Daniel Pearl and to his colleagues and called upon Pakistan to bring his murderers to justice. The UJK further called upon the international journalistic community and international organizations to resolve the issue of the security, protection of rights and freedoms of journalists doing their job. The statement said the world will "go blind" and will begin decaying if the journalists are stripped of the opportunity to tell the truth and are not protected while working in the line of duty".
* * *
New oil and gas company established in Kazakhstan On February 20, President Nazarbayev signed the decree on the establishment of Closed Joint Stock Company "National Company KazMunaigas" through the merger of CJSC "National Oil and Gas Company
Kazakhoil" and CJSC "National Company "Transportation of Oil and Gas".
Kazakhoil was the largest state-owned oil company with stakes in a number of major oil fields, including Tengiz, and a refinery. Last year it produced 6,5 million tons of oil, or 15 per cent of national output, Khabar TV reported on February 21. According to the same report, Transportation of Oil and Gas, established in May 2001 through the merger of state pipeline companies KazTransOil and KazTransGas, was transporting up to 80 per cent of oil extracted in the country. It also managed the entire relevant infrastructure, including the maritime shipment company Kazmortransflot. On February 21 the Government adopted a resolution naming Mr. Lyazat Kiinov, until recently Akim (Governor) of oil producing Mangistau region and an experienced oilman, as president of KazMunaigas. Mr. Timur Kulibayev, formerly head of Transportation of Oil and Gas, was appointed first deputy president of the new company. Introducing Mr. Kiinov as the head of KazMunaigas on February 21, Prime Minister Imangali Tasmagambetov said that "as we move on to the next stage in the establishment of the national oil industry we face global challenges of developing the Caspian shelf". Kazakhstan was, therefore, creating "a single vertically integrated national company".
* * *
Senate Congratulates Kazakhstan on the 10th Anniversary of its Independence On December 20, 2001, during President Nazarbayev's visit, the United States Senate unanimously passed the Resolution # 194 (www.senate.gov) congratulating the people of Kazakhstan on the 10th anniversary of its independence. Since gaining its independence, "Kazakhstan has made significant strides in becoming a stable and peaceful nation that provides economic opportunity for its people", the senators said in the resolution. They believe Kazakhstan plays "an important role in Central Asia by virtue of its large territory, ample natural resources, and strategic location". Kazakhstan "has successfully partnered with United States companies in the development of its petroleum and natural gas resources", the senators said underscoring that according to the Department of Energy estimates, "Kazakhstan has up to 17,600,000,000 barrels of proven petroleum reserves and up to 83,000,000,000,000 cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves". The Senate said "Kazakhstan, under the leadership of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, has cooperated with the United States on national security concerns, including combating international terrorism, nuclear proliferation, international crime, and narcotics trafficking". The senators said this cooperation "has become even more important to the ability of the United States to protect the United States homeland" and particularly applauded the cooperation in the war against terrorism. They congratulated the people of Kazakhstan on the 10th anniversary of independence and said they were "looking forward to further enhancing the economic, political, and national security cooperation between Kazakhstan and the United States".
* * *
Kazakhstan's Antinuclear Role
By Graham Allison, The Boston Globe, January 6, 2002.
WHEN KAZAKHSTAN is mentioned, most people think of one thing: oil. As the principal source of Caspian energy, Kazakhstan supplies world markets directly through the Caspian Pipeline Consortium.
Opened in September, this pipeline has a capacity of 1 million barrels a day. Furthermore,
Kashagan field has been acclaimed as the most significant new discovery of reserves in the past quarter-century.
When President Bush met with Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the White House in December, they discussed Kazakhstan's new role in world energy and the campaign against terrorism. The meeting resulted in a joint statement that affirmed their strategic partnership and a US intention to help Kazakhstan integrate more fully into the global economy.
While this meeting addressed important goals, it should also have underlined the significant role Kazakhstan has played in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. Nazarbayev now has an opportunity to extend that legacy by leading the negotiations for the Central Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty.
In his recent book, ''Epicenter of Peace,'' Nazarbayev affirms Kazakhstan's pride in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The Semipalatinsk Soviet nuclear testing facility in northeastern Kazakhstan saw more above-ground and underground nuclear tests than any other site on earth. As a result, more than 300,000 people in the region suffer serious health effects from exposure to radiation.
Acutely aware of these consequences, Nazarbayev was the first president among newly
independent former Soviet states to call for the elimination of nuclear weapons and the creation of a nuclear-free zone in the Central Asian region.
In theory, Kazakhstan could have emerged as one of the world's nuclear superpowers. Had it
taken control of the more than 1,400 nuclear warheads left on its territory when the Soviet Union disappeared, it would commanded an arsenal larger than those of the United Kingdom, France, and China combined. Most of these warheads stood atop missiles aimed at targets in the United States.
Instead, Kazakhstan volunteered to return all nuclear weapons to Russia, signed the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty, and entered the world as a nonnuclear state. There are no nuclear
weapons in Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan is now in an ideal position to exercise leadership in the campaign to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. Nazarbayev has long been a vigorous supporter of the creation of a nuclear weapons-free zone in Central Asia. On Feb. 27, 1997, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan signed the Almaty Declaration, which proclaimed their intention to make Central Asia a territory free of nuclear arms.
Unfortunately, this campaign has encountered difficulties over the last several years, especially because of the 1992 Tashkent Treaty, a collective security agreement originally designed for the states of the former Soviet Union. Russia is the only signatory that believes that this treaty would allow it to redeploy tactical nuclear weapons to Central Asia in order to deal with threats emanating from the region.
Over the last few years, Central Asian members of the Tashkent Treaty expressed their desire to restrict the provisions of the agreement in order to allow for the complete denuclearization of the region. Russia, however, has voiced objections.
As the Central Asian leader with the most accomplished record on nonproliferation issues,
Nazarbayev must take the lead to overcome Russia's objections to the Central Asian Nuclear
Weapons-Free Zone. Bush could give him a hand. The advantages of creating a stable region free of nuclear threat far outweigh whatever tactical advantages might be gained from a redeployment of nuclear weapons in Central Asia. As the recent campaign in Afghanistan has demonstrated, nuclear weapons have no useful role in the region.
During Nazarbayev's visit to Washington, the United States and Kazakhstan made significant
progress by reaffirming their shared commitment to fighting terrorism and guaranteeing international energy supplies. Building upon that foundation, the two presidents should now instruct their governments to overcome remaining obstacles to assure that the nexus between Russia, China, Iran, and Afghanistan remains free of nuclear weapons.
Graham Allison is director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard
University's Kennedy School.
* * *
This story ran on page E7 of the Boston Globe on 1/6/2002.
© Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.
President Bush: CPC shows to the world that "the United States, Russia, and Kazakhstan are cooperating to build prosperity and stability in this part of the world".
THE WHITE HOUSE
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 28, 2001
Statement by the President
I congratulate Russia, Kazakhstan, and Oman, and their consortium partners, for the commissioning of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC). U.S. firms, notably ChevronTexaco and ExxonMobil, have played leading roles in this project. These facilities represent the culmination of years of effort. They are examples to the world that the United States, Russia, and Kazakhstan are cooperating to build prosperity and stability in this part of the world.
The CPC highlights the important progress by countries in the Caspian region in building a transparent and stable environment for international trade and investment. The CPC project also advances my Administrations National Energy Policy by developing a network of multiple Caspian pipelines that also
includes the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Baku-Supsa, and Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipelines and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline. These projects will help diversify U.S. energy supply and enhance our energy security, while supporting global economic growth.
* * *
The opening of a new CPC pipeline is a major milestone for the region, says the New York Times Crucially, in the Caspian basin, where Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and other states are developing immense reserves, a decade-long rivalry for influence between the United States and Russia could now turn into something more like cooperation
Below is the whole text of the article "Russia Is Becoming an Oil Ally" of October 19, 2001
MOSCOW, Oct. 18. With the developed world nervously eyeing the security of oil supplies in the Middle East, Russia is stepping forward as a new friend in need. Alongside its support for the United States' military campaign in Afghanistan, Russia is offering its oil fields as a secure alternative to dependence on the turbulent Persian Gulf. Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union together produce about one-tenth of the world's oil and one-third of its natural gas. Russia's oil industry is booming, with exports up by 9 percent so far this year. Next week, production will begin at a northern gas field with reserves equal to two-thirds of all those in the rest of Europe. Neighboring Kazakhstan is developing huge new fields and expects to more than double its output by 2010. Last month, speaking to businessmen in Germany, Russia's president, Vladimir V. Putin, offered to step up oil deliveries if supplies came under threat. "Non-Middle East oil will be seen as being more desirable than ever," said Stephen O'Sullivan, head of research at the United Financial Group, a Moscow investment bank. Most analysts say Russia is not now able to export enough oil to completely replace Middle Eastern sources in the event of a major disruption, in large part because of limited pipeline capacity. But construction of new pipelines is expected to gain greater urgency now. Crucially, in the Caspian basin, where Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and other states are developing immense reserves, a decade-long rivalry for influence between the United States and Russia could now turn into something more like cooperation. Instead of squabbling over the routes exports would take, the two sides now share a common interest in ramping up total pipeline capacity, the main constraint on growth in recent years. The opening of a new pipeline from the Tengiz field in western Kazakhstan to a Russian port on the Black Sea is a major milestone for the region, where international oil companies like ChevronTexaco and British Petroleum have spent billions of dollars since the fall of the Soviet Union to explore and develop energy resources. Throughout the 1990's, Russia and the United States backed competing pipeline routes out of the Caspian basin, a region that the United States Department of Energy estimates holds 110 billion barrels of oil about triple the United States' own reserves. For political reasons, the main American objective was to build export routes that avoided crossing either Russian or Iranian territory to the irritation of Moscow, which sees the region as within its sphere of influence and pipelines as powerful levers for political control. Russia prevailed in 1999, when an international consortium of oil companies led by Chevron began building the $2.6 billion pipeline to Novorossiysk, which made its first commercial delivery of crude oil on Sunday. On top of the billions of dollars in royalties Russia expects to earn over its 40-year life, the pipeline maintains Moscow's direct control over oil flows from the region. Analysts said that Russia's new alliance with the United States in the coalition against terrorism has accelerated the shift away from antagonism over the vast oil resources of the former Soviet Union. "The trend was already towards a depoliticization of Caspian energy, and this definitely advances that," said Laurent Ruseckas of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, an energy consultancy in London. "This whole idea of the U.S. and Russia fighting over Caspian oil seems completely outdated. The West would like to see Russian and Caspian oil on stream as quickly as possible." For its part, now that the Novorossiysk pipeline is open, the Russian government says it no longer objects to construction of a a second pipeline on the Azerbaijan-to-Turkey route that the United States has favored. "We will not hamper this project," said Russia's energy minister, Igor Yusufov, in an interview, adding that Russia believes it can hold its own in attracting foreign energy investment even if the second line is built. "Our close connections will allow us to bring to fruition more valuable long-term projects," he said. Western diplomats doubt that Russia will give up trying to influence and profit from development of oil fields in the former Soviet republics to its south. Mr. Putin's decision to ally himself with the West in the war against terrorism may come at the cost of ceding some of Russia's historical political dominance in Central Asia. The diplomats said it was unlikely that he would surrender what he considers Russia's share of Caspian oil riches. "The interesting geopolitical issue is whether the Russians will climb down from a zero-sum, even hostile, view of American commercial, political and military relations in the region," said Stephen Sestanovich, a former special adviser to the United States Secretary of State on matters concerning the former Soviet Union. "We are seeing some indications from Mr. Putin that he is telling his government to back off that kind of approach. Will he apply that less competitive outlook to energy issues as well? We'll have to see." Russia is also extending its energy reach to other lucrative markets. It is pushing ahead with a planned new natural gas pipeline under the Black Sea to Turkey that would increase Turkey's dependence on Russian gas to 80 percent of its needs, from about two-thirds now. Russia is even making progress with a proposal to build a pipeline to carry Russian crude to eastern China. Though China is busily developing its domestic energy resources, economic growth has been far outrunning its efforts to step up production, and China has been a net oil importer since 1993. Energy exports have become the lifeblood of Russia's economy, accounting for half its export earnings and one-third of the federal government's budget revenue. A sharp drop in oil prices could wreck its budget and complicate the repayment of the billions of dollars in foreign debt that fall due in the next two years. Still, Russia's eagerness as a supplier has often put it at cross-purposes with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which even before Sept. 11 was straining to prop up world oil prices by restricting supply. Russia's steadily rising production undercuts those efforts, and though the country pledges to cooperate with OPEC, oil executives here say they have no plans to cut back. Russian oil companies, flush with cash from several years of high prices, have been spending heavily on new equipment and technology to increase production. But foreign oil companies with interests here, like BP and Exxon Mobil, have had a harder time, with new production set back by legal and tax difficulties.
* * *
Population of Astana nears half-million As of October 1, 2001, the population of Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, stood at 490,646, deputy mayor Nurlan Nigmatullin reported at a briefing on October 19. Mr. Nigmatullin recalled that in February 1999 that number was just under 320,000, meaning that the growth since that time had amounted to over 150,000. The majority of new citizens, 70 percent, are from 15 to 60 years old. Originally, the population of half a million people was expected to be reached in Astana by 2010. "But the actual growth outpaces the projected one", stressed Mr. Nigmatullin. He underlined, however, that the infrastructure of the capital, which is fast becoming the most modern and speedily developing business hub in Central Asia, is sufficient to provide the people with all the necessary communal services.
* * *
Kazakhstan's Parliament goes on-line On October 18, 2001, Kazakhstan's Parliament launched its own web site at www.parlam.kz in three languages, Kazakh, Russian and English. It contains both general information about the two-chamber Parliament,
information about current events, as well as the speeches and articles by the Senators and Majilismen.
* * *
Roman Catholics grateful to Kazakhstan's people Roman Catholic Apostolic Administration in Astana sent a letter to President Nazarbayev to express the believers' appreciation for a warm and hospitable reception of Pope John Paul II on his visit to Kazakhstan last month. In their letter, Bishops Tomas Peta, Henrich Hovanec, Jan Paul Lenga and Apostolic Administrator Janus Kaleta expressed sincere gratitude to the President for what he did in order to arrange and hold a historic visit of the Pope to the republic. "You have set a noble example to all the people of Kazakhstan and have helped to comprehend the importance of that visit", they said. The bishops believe that during the Pope's stay in Kazakhstan the outstanding qualities of the people of Kazakhstan have come out prominently, such as hospitality, respect for the seniors, love of peace and resolute desire to live in friendship and harmony.
* * *
Registration concludes for local elections The registration of candidates running for local akims (mayors) in elections to be held on October 20 was over, the Central Election Commission reported. In 28 rural constituencies a total of 75 candidates were registered, of which 65 were men and 10 were women. In terms of professional background, there were 21 engineers, 15 tutors, 10 agricultural technicians, 11 agricultural scientists, 7 economists, 3 vets and 1 lawyer. The majority of the candidates, fifty-seven, are middle-aged persons ranging from 37 to 56 years old, while three of the candidates are under 30.
* * *
Kazakhstan moves to the ranks of world's top oil exporters On October 15, 2001, the first test tanker filled with the Kazakhstan's oil from the pipeline of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, left the Russia's Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, thus marking the launch of a first ever specifically designated export system for Kazakhstan's oil and significantly bolstering Kazakhstan's bid to join to the ranks of the world's top oil exporters. The 2.6 billion 935-mile CPC pipeline, built over a period of two years, is a unique example of successful cooperation between the Governments of Kazakhstan, Russia, Oman and private interests from the U.S., Britain, Russia and Italy. President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan and President Vladimir Putin of Russia in their telephone conversation expressed their satisfaction with the commencement of the CPC operations. The announcement was made at the CPC ceremony in Moscow, attended by the visiting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Donald L. Evans, ChevronTexaco Vice-Chairman Richard Matzke and other government and business leaders. "The successful launch of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium sends an important message", Secretary Evans said. "It tells the world that the United States, Russia and Central Asian states are cooperating to build prosperity and stability in this part of the world". "The people of CPC, its partners, shareholders and the Governments of Russia and Kazakhstan have every reason to be justly proud of their joint success", said Mr. Matzke. ChevronTexaco Corp. is the largest private shareholder in the CPC pipeline that runs from the giant Tengiz oil field in western Kazakhstan, developed by the Tengizchevroil joint venture half-owned by the California-based corporation, to Novorossiisk. The pipeline will have an initial capacity of 28 million tons of oil a year (600,000 b/d), set to expand to 67 million tons a year (1.5 million b/d) at a later stage. In light of the on-going U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan, the business leaders at the ceremony in Moscow stressed the multi-billion-dollar oil-and-gas development of the Caspian resources, located 1,200 miles from Afghanistan, is safe and secure. Mr. Matzke said the corporation "doesn't anticipate" any security threats from unrest in that country. "We have to run a pretty secure operation in any event", he said. "No investment plans are changing" because of the campaign, added Ian MacDonald, president of ChevronTexaco operations in Russia. "The short-term and long-term outlook is that the oil industry business in Kazakhstan will continue as before", Martin Ferstl, President of the Shell Companies of Kazakhstan, said at a major oil conference in Kazakhstan in early October.
* * *
Congressman Brad Sherman hears commitment of support from Kazakhstan The news release issued by the congressman's office on October 4 said: Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA, 24), in a meeting with Ambassador of Kazakhstan, H.E. Kanat Saudabayev, received a strong commitment of cooperation from the former Soviet Republic for the United States' effort to root out terrorism. "Kazakhstan has become a very cooperative ally in the fight to rid the world of the scourge of terrorism. As a neighbor of Afghanistan to the north and a former Soviet Republic, their cooperation is vital. Kazakhstan's support is reflective of the broad support that the United States has in our efforts to find those responsible for the events of September 11," said Sherman, who serves on the House International Relations Committee Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia. During the meeting, the Ambassador promised Sherman that the United States will have access to Kazakhstan's airspace, military bases, and other military infrastucture to launch strikes in the war against bin Laden and the Taliban. "We strongly support the U.S. in its fight against terrorism. Kazakhstan views the bilateral relations as a top priority and continues to be a reliable strategic partner of the United States in that area," said Ambassador Saudabayev. As a result of a very productive meeting, Sherman agreed to join the Caucus on Central Asia, which works to enhance relations with Kazakhstan and the other countries of the former Soviet Union.
* * *
Secretary of State Colin Powell calls President Nursultan Nazarbayev On October 7, at the instruction of President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell made a telephone call to President Nursultan Nazarbayev to inform him about the beginning of anti-terrorist action in Afghanistan. Secretary Powell underscored that the target of the action carried out by the United States and its allies with the broad support of international coalition is the Al Qaeda terrorist organization based in Afghanistan, its leaders and military objects. While carrying out the action, its organizers provide for all necessary measures in order to prevent casualties among the civilian population as well as to provide effective humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people. Following the conversation, President Nazarbayev instructed the regional akims (governors) and all law-enforcement and defense agencies to undertake necessary measures to ensure full security of vital installations of state-wide importance, as well as that of the diplomatic corps in Kazakhstan.
* * *
Secretary of State of the Holy See awarded Kazakhstan's order On October 7, 2001, Imangali Tasmagambetov, visiting Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, awarded order Dostyk (Friendship) of the 1st grade to Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State of the Vatican. Mr. Tasmagambetov said Cardinal Sodano was awarded this order in recognition of his great contribution to successful development of friendship and cooperation between Kazakhstan and the Vatican. Cardinal Sodano expressed his sincere appreciation and gratitude for the award to President Nursultan Nazarbayev and stressed that when the world is facing new challenges, Kazakhstan's wise policies allow supporting and strengthening inter-confessional harmony, language diversity and civic peace. In its turn that allows the successful implementation of reforms and movement along the path of peace and progress. Cardinal Sodano said the Vatican had an opportunity to witness all this during a remarkably organized visit of Pope John Paul II to Kazakhstan in September 2001.
* * *
Oil investment into Caspian to continue Heavy investment by oil majors in central Asia's oil-rich Caspian region will see no let-up after the suicide attacks on the United States, company executives said on Thursday October 4, REUTERS reported from Almaty. Speaking at a conference in Kazakhstan, which borders on states which could play a role in any U.S. action against Afghanistan, oil officials said their projects in the region could weather even a sharp drop in the oil price if global recession hits. And they saw few risks of any conflict in Afghanistan spilling over into the oil-rich Caspian. ``We have contingency plans, we look at scenarios for all different oil prices, high prices, low prices,'' Guy Hollingsworth, president of Chevron Eurasia, told Reuters on the sidelines of the KIOGE conference in Almaty. Chevron, owner of 50 percent of the Tengizchevroil joint venture developing the vast Tengiz oilfield, was the first U.S. major to enter Kazakhstan after the fall of the Soviet Union. ``We don't see prices going low enough to stymie development here in Kazakhstan,'' Hollingsworth said, adding that Chevron planned to move ahead with its investment in the company even if oil prices fell further. The president of the Kazakh arm of Russia's biggest oil producer LUKOIL, Albert Isangunov, said the current price slump could be seen as a trough in oil's price cycle. ``There is nothing for existing or potential investors in the Caspian region to be concerned about. Security in the Republic of Kazakhstan is normal and oil prices are always cyclical anyway,'' he said. ``The short-term and long-term outlook is that the oil industry business in Kazakhstan will continue as before,'' said Martin Ferstl, President of the Shell Companies of Kazakhstan. The newly-built Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC), from Tengiz to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, is set to start pumping oil soon, although a firm date has not been given. BP and Chevron were confident a $3 billion U.S.-backed oil pipeline from Azeri capital Baku to the Turkish port of Ceyhan would also be built. The bosses dismissed security fears for Kazakhstan, which has the lion's share of the Caspian's oil, even though it shares borders with Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, both of which border Afghanistan. ``We are watching the situation very closely and we're in daily contact with our embassy here, but if you look at the topography there are some huge mountains between us and Afghanistan,'' Hollingsworth said.
* * *
Tighter Control for Nuclear Transfers On September 3, a 3-day international seminar on export control over nuclear transfers in Central Asia began in Almaty under the aegis of the Committee of Nuclear Energy of Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of Kazakhstan in cooperation with the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration and Los Alamos National Laboratory. Experts from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and the United States discuss both problems related directly to the nuclear transfer control and ways to develop contacts between agencies in this sphere.
* * *
Kazakh oil fund (The Washington Times, August 27, 2001) On August 24, 2001, The Washington Times wrote that "For some time now, Kazakhstan's economy has been benefiting from high oil prices, but as price levels have begun to slip, the government in Almaty is glad it decided late last year to put aside some of the money that poured into its treasury from oil exports. Kazakhstan's top economic official said his country created a national fund to help balance the state budget, which for the first half of the year accumulated $1.1 billion. Oil is one of the main exports for the former Soviet republic. Zhaksybek Kulekeev, minister of economy and trade of Kazakhstan, said the fund was a pre-emptive measure. "We realize that the [oil export] situation won't always be as good, so we created a mechanism to protect the budget from the fluctuations of the world economy through financing our deficit," he told our correspondent Nicholas Kralev on a recent visit to Washington. Mr. Kulekeev was here this month to sign a steel production anti-dumping agreement with the Department of Commerce, which is negotiating similar arrangements with the world's 12 major steel producers.
The minister also used his visit to discuss his country's prospects for joining the World Trade Organization, following the fourth meeting of the WTO's working group for Kazakhstan in Geneva in June.
Mr. Kulekeev also promoted Kazakhstan's economic achievements since he got the job two years ago. "Our average monthly salary of $100 is the highest in the former Soviet republics, and more than 70 percent of our gross domestic product comes from the private sector," he said, referring to the fast pace of privatization.
* * *
Foreign officers train under U.S. Customs, The Washington Times reported On August 24, 2001, The Washington Times reported that "the U.S. Customs Service has begun a three-week training session in Texas to help border officials from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan combat the smuggling of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons components. "There are few missions more critical to U.S. Customs than helping our foreign counterparts combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction," said acting Customs Service Commissioner Charles Winwood. "U.S. Customs counterproliferation training programs have helped foreign authorities make numerous weapons-related seizures in recent years," he said. "We are confident this training will yield similar results" Nearly 80 foreign officials are scheduled to participate in the training session, each of whom was selected from the ranks of supervisors and line officials who work in outposts in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan that border China, Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and ports on the Caspian Sea. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the threat of trafficking of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems and related components has been substantially increased. The Customs Service has been at the forefront of U.S. efforts to counter the threat. Spokesman Dean Boyd noted that through all of its international nonproliferation programs, the Customs Service has provided training to more than 2,600 foreign customs and border officers. The agency also has delivered millions of dollars worth of interdiction and detection equipment to officers in these nations. He said that since 1998, eight significant seizures by foreign customs or police agencies have been attributed to the Customs Service training program.
* * *
Kazakhstan is not planning to join OPEC soon, Dow Jones reported WASHINGTON (Dow Jones, Aug 16)--Kazakhstan, one of the world's fastest-growing oil exporters, doesn't currently plan to join the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the country's trade minister said Thursday. OPEC is seeking cooperation with the former Soviet republic. The oil exporters' group has indicated much of its $15 million in financing this year for nascent oil-producing countries will go to Kazakhstan. But Kazakhstan's Minister of Economy and Trade Zhaksybek Kulekeyev told Dow Jones Newswires the country isn't planning to join OPEC soon. "Kazakhstan has an observer status in OPEC, and I don't think we have any plans to join the cartel in the near future," Kulekeyev said. Kazakhstan government officials expect oil production to rise to 40 million tons - or about 800,000 barrels a day - this year from 35 million tons last year. With the giant new Kashagan field due to begin production by 2005, they project output may exceed 100 million tons annually by 2010. Kulekeyev said Kazakhstan continues to favor multiple export routes for its oil. After the opening of the new Caspian Pipeline Consortium export route through Russia this year, the next-most-likely route on a purely economic basis would be through Turkmenistan and Iran, he said. "But there are obviously political aspects to this," he said. Kulekeyev said it's up to private-sector producers in Kazakhstan to decide if they want to use the U.S.-backed route from Kazakhstan's Caspian port Aktau through Baku, Azerbaijan, and Georgia to Turkey's Mediterranean port Ceyhan. "If this pipeline is to be built, it should start from Aktau," he said, suggesting that barging the oil across the Caspian Sea to Baku would be insufficient. On other potential export routes, the trade minister said Kazakhstan and China National Petroleum Corp. continue early, preparatory work for a proposal to carry oil from Western Kazakhstan to China. Meanwhile, a proposal to export oil through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan currently exists "only on paper," he said.
* * *
Kazakh minister sees bright future for his economy, REUTERS reported WASHINGTON, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan's economy will continue to flourish over the next five years, as negotiations to enter the World Trade Organization appear headed to a successful conclusion, the country's economy minister told Reuters on Thursday. Zhaksybek Kulekeyev, in Washington to discuss Kazakhstan's economy with U.S. and international officials, said that after two years of strong economic growth -- which reached a rate of 9.6 percent last year -- the central Asian nation will continue to perform well despite the global economic slowdown. "As far as future development of Kazakhstan's economy is concerned we are estimating that the GDP will grow over the next five years at an average of 5 percent per year at least," Kulekeyev said. The Kazakh economy began to record high levels of growth in the second half of 1999, when prudent fiscal policies and economic initiatives were put in place. The results included a sharp reduction of inflation, which remains steady below 10 percent, a budget surplus, a stable currency and increasing employment numbers. In the first half of this year, the economy grew at 14 percent and growth is forecast to average 10 percent by the end of 2001, Kulekeyev said. The minister was in Washington to meet with officials at the WTO to discuss Kazakhstan's possible entry into the trade organization, which he viewed as "imperative" for the country in the context of a global economy Kulekeyev said that he was confident his country would be allowed to join the organization Kulekeyev added that joining the WTO would benefit the Kazakh economy, whose recent success he attributed mainly to domestic factors such as rising consumer spending and demand, constant high levels of investment over the past five years and a positive trade balance that has in turn fueled demand. He also said the vibrant global commodity market provided customers for exports of metals, copper, titanium and grain and that high oil prices had boosted its revenues The minister cited international factors such as the rapid growth of the global economy, which averaged an unprecedented 5 percent in 2000, and a generally high rate of economic expansion among the CIS. Kulekeyev said that in addition to a possible entry into the WTO, he is hoping for the U.S. Congress to conclude normal trade relations with Kazakhstan. In 1974, at the height of the Cold War, the United States decided to limit trade relations with Russia, which at the time included Kazakhstan. A normal trade relations bill with the Central Asian nation is currently pending in Congress, he added.
* * *
Ministry of Interior uncovers 10,800 drugs-related crimes in the first half of 2001 In the first half of 2001, drugs-fighting department of the Ministry of Interior uncovered 10,800 drugs-related crimes across the country and over 8000 criminal cases were sent to the court. During that period, around 2600 drug dealers were detained and around 10,000 people were charged for using and selling drugs. Law enforcement bodies seized 17 tons of narcotics, including 38 kilograms of heroin. The fight against international drug rings has also been actively pursued, with 15 criminal drug gangs being effectively wiped out and 197 people, mostly citizens of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, being arrested. Drug dealers are increasingly using Kazakhstan as a transit country for shipping drugs, originated mostly in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region, to Europe and other regions of the world. With its huge territory, long surface borders and scarce finances available, Kazakhstan is in urgent need of assistance in combating the world-scale menace of narcotics.
* * *
Human trafficking gets more Government and media attention The Government recognizes the problem of trafficking in humans, mostly women, and is eager to combat it, said Ms. Guldan Tlegenova, director of the Almaty-based non-governmental organization 'Crisis Center for Women and Children', speaking at a press conference in Almaty on August 14. Ms. Tlegenova told that the international conference on human trafficking in Almaty on June 6-8 was attended by representatives of the Government and local authorities of Kazakhstan, as well as of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, who showed an interest in developing regional cooperation to fight the problem. The direct result of that conference was a broad information campaign initiated in Kazakhstan's and Kyrgyzstan's mass media aimed at increasing the awareness of the issue, particularly about the methods and channels of trafficking as well as the firms and persons involved. According to Kazakhstan's law enforcement agencies, the prosecutors are currently investigating a number of firms across the country, particularly 8 employment companies in southern city of Shymkent that were specializing in exporting work force. Last June the Government, recognizing the gravity of the problem that affected thousands of women has established a special task force on the basis of National Commission on family and children issues. The group, including experts from multiple Government agencies and NGOs, is commissioned to elaborate measures and recommendations to prevent and fight the human trafficking.
* * *
Kazakh-American University gets permission to educate gifted kids On August 13, 2001 the Almaty-based Kazakh-American University received an authorization from the Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan to conduct a scientific and pedagogical experiment of educating gifted children. The University has become the only private education institution in the country to be permitted to carry out such an experiment whose idea is to identify at the early stages the capabilities of the talented youth and to realize that potential in the future.
* * *
Kazakhstan's Jews Celebrate On August 10, 2001, National Conference of Soviet Jewry reported that the Jewish community of Kazakhstan celebrated the fifth anniversary of the stone-laying for a future synagogue, and the remembrance day (yahrzeit) of Rabbi Levi Yitzhak Schneerson, the father of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the late Menachem Mendel Schneerson. "They came to a synagogue in the largest Kazakh city and they brought their children with them, even the smallest ones," said Juda Kubalkin, Chief Rabbi of the capital Astana. "The Jews of Kazakhstan are not afraid anymore that they will lose jobs for observing Sabbath or will be jailed for reading the Torah." The celebration was attended by the Jewish community, as well as diplomats and government officials. Rabbi Levi Yitzchak, a prominent rabbi who lived and died in Kazakhstan, was an outspoken critic and target of the Soviet regime. His grave, left unmarked during the Soviet era, is today a major pilgrimage site for Jews from around the world. "The Jewish community became one of the most active in Kazakhstan", said Daniel Russell, the Charge d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy. Yeshaya Cohen, Chief Rabbi of Kazakhstan, noted, "Could we even imagine in the past that we would be able to celebrate our holidays and to come to the synagogue freely? But this time has come."
* * *
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX): the U.S. should be more engaged with Kazakhstan "Kazakhstan is a young country located in a critically strategic region with ``rough'' neighbors and it is crucial for the U.S. to work with this country both politically and economically to ensure their security, independence and progressive development", said Rep. Ron Paul in his statement submitted into the Congressional Record on August 1, 2001. Commenting on a recent Op-Ed article ``Crazy for Kazakhstan -- Asian nation of vital interest'' by former Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson published in ``The Washington Times'' on July 30, 2001, Mr. Paul underscored that "Kazakhstan, despite the difficulties of its transition period, has carried out large-scale economic and political reforms, especially when compared to the rest of the newly independent states. This year is the 10th anniversary of Kazakhstan's independence and during this period Kazakhstan has shown its commitment to work with the U.S. in many areas, including sensitive ones, and has proven to be our reliable partner". Mr. Paul, who cosponsored the legislation that would grant permanent trade relations to Kazakhstan, agreed with Mr. Richardson "that this key Central Asian country is of great importance to U.S. interests. Kazakhstan in many ways should be seen as our natural ally in the region. The time has come for the U.S. to pay closer attention to this country and be more engaged with it".
* * *
CPC clears way for commencement of the operations At a meeting on August 3, 2001 in Moscow, Caspian Pipeline Consortium shareholders approved its Transportation Agreement, including the Quality Bank, thus clearing the way for CPC to commence operation. All elements are now in place to commence shipping of oil from the CPC terminal near Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk in the next few weeks. Mr. David O'Reilly, Chairman and CEO of Chevron Corp., said the decision "sends a powerful signal to the world's investment community that Russia and Kazakhstan are countries in which major, long-term-capital investments can be made with confidence". Chevron is the largest private shareholder (15%) in CPC's 1,510-kilometer pipeline, which has been built as a designated outlet for oil from large Tengiz field in West Kazakhstan, being developed by the Chevron-led joint venture since 1993. The CPC includes the governments of Russia (24%), Kazakhstan (19%), and Oman (7%), as well as ExxonMobil (7.5%) and other Russian, British, Italian and Kazakhstan companies.
The $2.5-billion CPC pipeline is considered to be the largest investment project in the former Soviet Union, as well as an example of successful cooperation between Kazakhstan and Russia and private companies. It is expected to carry as much as 28 million tons of mostly Kazakhstan oil a year initially with an upgrade to 67 million tons.
The formal opening ceremony was originally scheduled for August 6, 2001, and CPC said in a statement that the consortium would decide on a new date after talks with the administrations of the Russian and Kazakh presidents, Vladimir Putin and Nursultan Nazarbayev.
* * *
OSCE welcomes abolition of exit permits in Kazakhstan On July 31, 2001, the OSCE Center in Almaty announced that the OSCE "commends Kazakhstan for having abolished the so-called exit visas by governmental decree on 28 July. In the light of OSCE commitments and repeated recommendations from the OSCE to Kazakhstan on this issue, the abolition constitutes an important step towards guaranteeing to Kazakh citizens the full enjoyment of freedom of movement". According to the Kazakhstan's Government sources, the existing legislation and practices in migration sphere from now on are in full compliance with the conditions of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment to the Trade Act of 1974, introduced to punish the Soviet Union for not allowing free movement of its people, particularly the Jews. Currently, the United States Congress continues to discuss the legislation, introduced earlier this year, to graduate Kazakhstan from the outdated amendment and grant it a permanent normal trade regime.
* * *
Rep. Edolphus Towns (D - New York), calls for strengthening trade relations with Kazakhstan On July 25, 2001, Rep. Edolphus Towns called upon his fellow members of Congress to strengthen trade relations "with one of the most promising countries of the post-Soviet era--the Republic of Kazakhstan". "Kazakhstan today has the best economic prospects in the region. It has highest rate of economic growth, especially throughout the current year. Already well-known for its abundant natural resources, the recent discovery of major hydrocarbon deposits in the offshore East Kashagan field on the Caspian Sea is expected to put Kazakhstan among ten leading world oil exporters in the first quarter of this century", said Rep. Towns. "The potential for cooperation and progress is great, and the time for action now. We must break away from the outdated constraints of a past era and seize the opportunity to put trade ties with Kazakhstan on a more solid, mutually beneficial basis", stressed Rep. Towns and called on his colleagues to support the legislation (H.R. 1318) that would grant permanent trade relations to Kazakhstan. Mr. Towns believes that it will "not only open this huge market for Americans but also help to pave the way for true democracy in this country".
* * *
Senator Richard Lugar (R - IN) praises Kazakhstan-U.S. cooperation in nonproliferation On July 26, 2001, Sen. Richard Lugar announced in the Senate that "earlier this month, the United States and the country of Kazakhstan successfully completed one of the most ambitious nonproliferation projects undertaken in history -- the securing of one of the world's largest stockpiles of weapons-grade plutonium under the auspices of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program". Senator Lugar, who visited Kazakhstan in August 1998 to get the first hand knowledge of Kazakhstan-U.S. cooperation in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation under Nunn-Lugar Act, praised the results of a project on strengthening "the security surrounding some three tons of plutonium--sufficient to make some 400 bombs" at the BN-350 fast breeder reactor in Aktau. The Senator introduced into the Congressional Record the article ``Kazakh Plutonium Stores Made Safe'', published by the Washington Times on July 21, 2001, about the conclusion of this project and urged all of his colleagues to "inform themselves about a real success story in U.S.-Kazakhstan relations".
* * *
Kazakhstan abolishes exit visas In a major step towards further liberalization of the society, on July 26, 2001, the Government adopted new rules of exit of citizens of Kazakhstan abroad, the Government's information department reported. The new rules stipulate that when leaving the Republic on business, private matters, for studies, medical treatment as well as for tourism, the citizens will no longer require special authorization from the Ministry of Interior Affairs. The decision confirms Kazakhstan's strong commitment to the principles of democracy, particularly freedom of movement.
* * *
Pope John Paul II to Visit Kazakhstan in September On July 15, the Vatican announced that Pope John Paul II will visit Kazakhstan on September 22-25. The first ever Papal visit to Kazakhstan is organized at the official invitation of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. John Paul II will be meeting Roman Catholics, numbering as many as 300,000 among the predominant Muslim and Orthodox communities. Roman Catholics, descendants of those who were deported to Central Asia during the Stalinist years, form an integral part of Kazakhstan's ethnically and religiously diverse population of 15 million. Since its independence in 1991 Kazakhstan proclaimed itself a secular state promoting religious freedom and tolerance which led to the appearance of more than 2,000 religious groups of various denominations in the country.
* * *
National Oil Fund Tops One Billion Dollars For the First Time Kazakhstan's net gold and foreign currency reserves rose by 1.3% in the first half of the month to total USD 3.297 billion as of July 13, the National Bank announced on July 17. The National Bank's gold and foreign currency reserves totaled USD 2.293 billion on July 13. The USD 900,000 rise in National Bank currency reserves was credited to domestic purchases of foreign currency. National Bank gold reserves fell by 3.9 million to USD 493.6 million due to declining prices for the commodity on world markets. At the same time, the National Oil Fund, managed by the National Bank at Government's authorization, topped one billion dollars for the first time to reach USD 1.002 billion. The Government had intended to accumulate USD 1 billion in the Fund only by the year-end, and the fact that this figure was achieved within a half-year period confirms stronger than expected economic growth and fiscal revenues.
* * *
New Outlet for Kazakhstan Oil About five million tons of Kazakhstani oil can be transported through Baltic Pipeline System (BPS), belonging to Russian oil transportation company "Transneft", Nurlan Kapparov, Vice-Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of Kazakhstan reported Friday July 20 at BPS presentation. Referring to "Transneft" president S.Vainshtok, "Kazakhstan Today" agency reported that the first stage of BPS will be operational this December. Its annual throughput capacity will be 12 million tons of oil. The system will include pipelines Atyrau-Samara and Naberzhnye Chelny - Nizhniy Novgorod leading to the Russian Baltic Sea port of Primorsk . During the course of 2002, "Transneft" intends to expand BPS throughput capacity to 18 million tons.
* * *
Kazakhstan's high school students are among the best in the world Kazakhstan's team of 6 high school graduates won 4 gold medals, 1 silver medal and 1 honors diploma at the 42nd Annual International Mathematical High School Olympiad, held in Washington, DC from July 4 to July 12, 2001. This put Kazakhstan's team on the 3rd place for the first time in the history of this young country, after China won 6 gold medals and team championship, and Russia and the United States tied for the 2nd place with 5 gold and 1 silver medal each. A total number of 473 high school students from more than 80 countries took part in the contest organized by the Clay Institute of Mathematics. Each contestant had to provide solutions to 6 mathematical problems on his or her own in two days time. At an emotional ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington on July 12, packed with eminent mathematicians of the world, the organizers underlined that this year's problems were much more difficult than in previous years, which makes Kazakhstan's team achievement even more remarkable. The team from Kazakhstan included Aman Zhumakeshev, Baurzhan Bektemirov, Alibek Aldangarov, Igor Ganichev, Serguei Umentaev and Ulan Kuserkulov, from the cities of Aktyubinsk, Taldy-Kurgan and Ust Kamenogorsk. Their triumph reconfirms Kazakhstan's already strong standings in the world's educational rankings.
* * *
First Internet Data Center in CIS opens in Astana
On July 12, 2001, Prime Minister Kassymzhomart Tokaev officially opened the Internet Data Center (IDC) for 10 000 users in Astana, the first such enterprise in the Commonwealth of Independent States.
The idea of establishing such a center was first aired at President Nursultan Nazarbayev's meeting with the US business executives, where they discussed ways to develop further the Internet in Kazakhstan. 'IDC's opening puts Kazakhstan on a considerably higher level technologically', said Mr. Tokaev, and it will further strengthen Kazakhstan's position of a leader in new technologies development in Central Asia and beyond.
IDC, established by Kazakhtelecom in cooperation with the US Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications arm, represents a set of computer, networking and program software solutions and hardware, which allows users to have all the services related to the Internet in one place.
IDC offer a rich set of integrated services for enterprise and residential users, including web hosting as well as other traditional Internet services. The Internet users will for the first time be able to use 'Video on Demand' facility. The experts believe that users will be particularly interested in the informational composition of the IDC that includes extensive technical, medical, legal and other information. The IDC would also provide services of an Application Service Provider (ASP), which will enable clients to set up shops and auctions over the Internet. The IDC has the capacity to expand the number of subscribers up to 60 000.
* * *
President Nazarbayev talks to Vice President Cheney On July 11, 2001, President Nursultan Nazarbayev held a telephone conversation with US Vice President Richard Cheney, press service of Kazakhstan President reported. The two leaders discussed bilateral cooperation in various spheres as well as the development of global processes. Vice President Cheney underscored the importance of Kazakhstan's energy resources not only for the United States, but also for the international community. Mr. Nazarbayev congratulated Mr. Cheney with the forthcoming commissioning of the CPC pipeline, in construction of which the American companies take an active part. Vice President reconfirmed that the US administration will be represented at a high level at the CPC pipeline's 'first oil' ceremony on August 6, 2001, in Novorossiisk, Russia. Vice President Cheney assured President Nazarbayev that Bush administration will continue to promote strengthening of Kazakhstan's independence, including through the construction of new energy transportation systems. Mr. Cheney stressed that President Bush highly values the US-Kazakhstan relations and will be glad to meet President Nazarbayev during his next official visit to the United States.
* * *
Caspian Pipeline Consortium to create Oil Quality Bank by end of July The Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC), which operates the newly-opened Tengiz-Novorossiisk export pipeline, plans to create a special oil quality bank by the end of July, CPC deputy general director Fred Nelson announced at an investment conference in London last week. Creation of the quality bank is beneficial primarily for consortium shareholders producing oil in Kazakhstan. The CPC pipeline system will be used for transportation not only of high-value Tengiz oil from Kazakhstan, but also lower quality Russian crude produced by Russian oil companies LUKOil and Rosneft. Tengiz oil, known on international markets under as "Tengiz light", is more expensive than the Russian "Urals blend". After being transported together in the Tengiz-Novorossiisk pipeline, the resulting mix of these two types of oil will be sold as CPC Blend. The creation of a quality bank is designed to correct the existing disparity in prices and and quality by establishing a system for financial compensation to producers of the higher-quality oil. The pipeline itself will be officially commissioned on August 6, 2001, with a ceremony in Novorossisk that would involve the uploading of oil to the first-ever dedicated tanker for primary exports of Kazakhstan's oil. Presidents Nursultan Nazarbayev and Vladimir Putin of Kazakhstan and Russia, as well as host of business executives and other government's officials are planning to attend the event. * * *