White House and United Nations Welcome Kazakh President

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By Ben Briand
February 2nd, 2018

“I’m pleased to welcome President Nazarbayev who has done a tremendous job in Kazakhstan. Having you at the White House is an honor. Thank you for visiting with us. . . .And today, our strategic partnership with Kazakhstan has advanced my South Asia strategy, which is working, and working far more rapidly than anybody would understand, and providing crucial support for our forces in Afghanistan and denying a safe haven for terrorists. This cooperation has grown even stronger this month during Kazakhstan’s presidency of the United Nations Security Council. And, I will say, that’s a great honor,” remarked the President of the United States Donald Trump welcoming the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev to the White House on an official visit to Washington, D.C. on January 16th.

“The two presidents discussed an ‘enhanced strategic partnership’ between the United States and Kazakhstan, resolving to strengthen cooperation ‘on political and security issues, trade and investment, and people-to-people relationships through regular high-level meetings within the framework of an Enhanced Strategic Partnership Dialogue.”

The President of Kazakhstan is the first of the leaders of Central Asia to visit the White House, and the country is the first in the region to become the chairman of the UN Security Council. For these reasons, this visit was largely unprecedented.

President Trump remarked that Kazakhstan is an extremely valuable partner for the United States, given its leadership position in the region and for its peacekeeping in general. President Trump continues his remarks welcoming the Kazakh President by stating: “The fact is that the US wants to have partners that are strong and prosperous, who respect their neighbors and control their own destiny. I look forward to seeing the huge progress that has been made by the people of Kazakhstan. We want Kazakhstan to have a good sovereign and prosperous future.”

One of the key results of the meeting between Nazarbayev and Trump was the signing of the Agreement on Enhanced Strategic partnership. Other topics the two presidents discussed in their White House meeting were measures to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan and the situation with North Korea.

“The problem of North Korea can only be solved jointly with the United States, China and Russia. In this regard, we, neighbors, of course are concerned about the political relations between the United States and Russia,” remarked President Nazarbayev.

The leaders of the two countries specified that they intend to consult on sanctions in order to avoid any unintended consequences for the economy of Kazakhstan. Both presidents also reflected on Kazakhstan offering its services for promoting peace for many of the globe’s troubled spots including the mediation role played two years ago in the reconciliation of Russia and Turkey.

Comments from leading American foreign policy experts on the Kazakh President’s trip to meet Trump and speak at the United Nations include the Director of the Center for Foreign Policy at the Heritage Foundation Luke Coffey. Coffey commented, “Kazakhstan is an important US partner in Central Asia. We have many common tests, as enough common opportunities. I hope that this visit will be the first in long-term relations between Kazakhstan and the United States. Kazakhstan has recently put forward many diplomatic initiatives. And, this is very correct. For example, we can note the talks in Astana on the Syrian conflict which met our expectations.”

Daniel Runde, the Director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies CSIS) is confident that the US should deepen its trade and economic ties with Kazakhstan and increase investment. Runde notes, “We know that Kazakh authorities consider this a priority. I note that modern society has formed in Kazakhstan. I would even say that this is one of the most educated, healthy and wealthy nations of the world. The visit of President Nursultan Nazarbayev is aimed at strengthening partnership relations.”

From an economic point of view, Nazarbayev’s visit can be considered very successful. As a result of his trip to the United States, Kazakhstan concluded more than twenty contracts with representatives of many of America’s Fortune 500 companies. From aviation and railroad communications to energy, agriculture and space firms.

As Nazarbayev remarked at the White House, “In Kazakhstan, we have major American companies operating for many years. We have Chevron, Exxon Mobil. We have General Electric, Halliburton. And all these companies have invested about 50 billion US dollars into the Kazkahstani economy so far. And, also, that trade created additional 5,000 jobs in the United States.”

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the Kazakh President to the United Nations. Following the Secretary-General, President Nazarbayev as the president of UN Security Council this month presented Kazkahstan’s vision striving to be “proactive, constructive and objective” in dealing with the council’s agenda.

The Kazakh President, in his UN speech, remarked on his nation’s successful elimination of all of its nuclear weapons. “For a quarter of a century in the UN system, my country has made a rapid path from the holder of the world’s fourth nuclear arsenal to the country-leader of the global non-proliferation of WMD. We closed the world’s largest nuclear test site in Semipalatinsk, “remarked Nazarbayev.

Continuing his UN speech, the Kazakh President noted, “We created and strengthened our independent country, achieved its high international authority, renouncing nuclear weapons an receiving guarantees of non-aggression from nuclear powers. We call on all other countries to follow our example. We called for Iran in our time, now we call for North Korea.”

Today, Kazakhstan is a party to all fundamental international treaties in the field of nuclear security and has legally consolidated its non-nuclear status.
According to President Nazarbayev, the main defense for his nation is the trust of the world community. And the growth of WMD production only increases the risk of nuclear, chemical, biological, radiological weapons falling into the hands of destructive forces.

“Today, the legal framework for ensuring nuclear security could not prevent the expansion of the nuclear powers at the end of the 20th century. I believe that the much-needed strengthening of the nonproliferation regime based on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons requires profound mental changes, new multilateral decision,” noted the Kazakh President.

Therefore, Nazarbayev proposed the following: To complicate the withdrawal from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to develop a special resolution of the UN Security Council, which defines clear consequences for countries that violate the Treaty, including coercive and sanctions.

“It is necessary to work out a really working mechanism for applying tough measures against the acquisition and proliferation of WMD. Such multilateral agreements should be approved by separate resolutions of the UN Security Council,” explained the Kazakh President in his UN address.

As the main measure, it was proposed to develop a legally binding system of guaranteeing nuclear powers to states that voluntarily renounce the possession of nuclear weapons. As well as those having a non-nuclear status. According to the President of Kazakhstan, it is necessary to abandon the unification of countries popular in the last century into military bloc.

Nazarbayev, in summing up his UN speech, relates that “The world community is an organism that is strong in its diversity. It can survive and develop with balance and harmony among the nations and peoples that inhabit the planet. That is why we must work together to achieve a safer world and a more equitable world order based on the rule of law. I believe that the trust, will and intelligence of the world community multiplied by the energy of collective action will not allow our planet to step into the abyss of a global catastrophe.”

United States and Kazakhstan relations were greatly enhanced by President Nazarbayev’s official visit to the White House meeting with President Trump on a number of mutual interests including bilateral trade and investment, Afghanistan, and North Korea nukes.

And, Kazakhstan reiterated its positions on renouncing nuclear weapons and global non-proliferation of WMD as it presided over the United Nations Security Council for the month of January.

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