APPLAUDING KAZAKHSTAN'S PRESIDENT NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV

SPEECH OF
HON. GEORGE RADANOVICH OF CALIFORNIA
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2005


Mr. RADANOVICH. Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the President and the people of Kazakhstan on the 10th anniversary of the removal of the last nuclear weapons from their territory within the framework of the Cooperative Threat Reduction program.

I applaud Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev's leadership and courage. Today, we can state with great confidence that the decision of Kazakhstan's leader to renounce the world's fourth largest arsenal of deadly nuclear weapons was made not only in the interest of the mankind, but it has changed the course of world history. As we all know, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and international terrorism remain major threats to the world in this new century. It is frightful to imagine a scenario where terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda could have gained access to Kazakhstan's nuclear arsenal.

Mankind is more secure because of the contribution of Kazakhstan and its leader.

Kazakhstan is a universally recognized leader and one of the key players in nonproliferation and deserves praise for its actions. We believe Kazakhstan, under the leadership of President Nazarbayev, will continue to strengthen this role.

Kazakhstan stands firmly by its international commitments in nonproliferation and stands ready to expand this cooperation with the United States. Convincing evidence of the growing cooperation was evident in the signing in the December 2004 amendment to the bilateral agreement on the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction which brought the two nations to a new level of cooperation in preventing the threat of bio-terrorism.

Today, we mark not only the successful interaction between our nations in nonproliferation, but also the growing relations of the strategic partnership between the United States and Kazakhstan. Since the first days of independence Kazakhstan has chosen to build a truly democratic and market oriented society, and proved itself as a strong and essential partner and ally of the United States. American people will never forget the support of the President and people of Kazakhstan at the difficult time following 9/11. I would also like to express my gratitude to Kazakh military engineers who have so far destroyed more than 3 million pieces of ordnance in Iraq, and saved the lives of many Iraqis and those of our brave soldiers.

Kazakhstan's continued dynamic development is a pledge of prosperity and stability for all of Central Asia. President Nazarbayev rightfully should get credit for transforming his country into an undeniable leader in political and economic reforms.

Mr. Speaker, again I would like to congratulate the President and the people of Kazakhstan on their achievements and wish this young country full achievement of its potential. With a great deal of optimism, I look forward to the years ahead as the partnership between Kazakhstan and the United States strengthens to benefit the people of both nations and the world at large.