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Kazakhstan’s State Secretary visits US

On Nov. 5-9 State Secretary of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Kanat Saudabayev, paid an official visit to the United States and met a number of key officials and law makers, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Lantos.

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Kazakhstan’s former envoy to Washington, Mr. Saudabayev enjoyed especially warm welcome on behalf of US officials and took the opportunity to have friendly discussions over a wide range of important bilateral and international issues, including democratic reforms, reconstruction in Afghanistan and Iraq, global and regional energy security, development and integration in Central Asia as well as Kazakhstan’s bid to chair the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 2009.

American interlocutors hailed swift development of Kazakhstan-American cooperation and openly expressed their optimism on Kazakhstan’s OSCE bid. However, Astana – Washington’s strategic ally in a turbulent region – still looks for official US support of its long-term aspiration to lead the OSCE; chairmanship in Europe’s largest security and cooperation organization is expected to precipitate the pace of political reforms and facilitate further democratic progress in the country.

The Washington Times published a piece on the visit on Nov 9.