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U.S. and Kazakhstan Strengthen Energy Ties During Secretary Bodman's Visit

March 14, 2006 - 11:51am

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Meets with President Nazarbayev to Discuss Regional Energy Security and Cooperation on Nonproliferation Efforts

ASTANA , KAZAKHSTAN - U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman today continued his four-nation visit in Astana, Kazakhstan. In Astana, the Secretary discussed opportunities for long-term stable development of the energy sector in Kazakhstan and sought to strengthen ties between the two countries. Secretary Bodman met with Kazakhstan President Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev, U.S. business leaders in Kazakhstan, and other senior government officials to promote areas of mutual cooperation.

"Kazakhstan has been an important partner for the U.S. in energy trade and on nonproliferation efforts, and I thanked President Nazabayev for his cooperation," Secretary Bodman said. "Kazakhstan has a critical role to play in advancing global energy security, especially in this region, and we look forward to working with them to expand energy infrastructure and promote a transparent and stable investment climate that attracts foreign investors."

Secretary Bodman's discussions with President Nazarbayev included encouraging Kazakhstan to take a leadership role in regional energy development, concluding negotiations to transport Kazakh oil through the Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan pipeline, and ensuring that an open and stable investment climate exists to further attract foreign capital. Secretary Bodman also thanked President Nazarbayev for his country's support in both Afghanistan and Iraq and in the global war on terror and noted his leadership on issues such as nuclear non-proliferation and ethnic and religious tolerance.

In addition to meeting with President Nazarbayev, Secretary Bodman met with other Kazakhstan government officials including Deputy Prime Minister Karim Masimov, Minister of Industry and Trade Vladimir Shkolnik, Minister of Energy & Mineral Resources, Bakhtykozha Izmukhambetov and Minister of Finance Natalya Korzhova. Secretary Bodman discussed the mutual benefits of bilateral energy cooperation and energy trade under the U.S.-Kazakhstan Energy Partnership.

Secretary Bodman also met with U.S. private sector representatives and discussed current business operations and new investment opportunities, continued trade expansion, and the importance of a predictable and market-oriented investment climate in Kazakhstan.

Secretary Bodman arrived in Kazakhstan after visiting Pakistan where he took part in high-level meeting to discuss ways that the U.S. and Pakistan can increase cooperation on energy-related issues.

Media contact(s):

Craig Stevens, (202) 586-4940

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