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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05ALMATY3551
2005-10-05 05:17:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
US Office Almaty
Cable title:  

KAZAKHSTAN: AMBASSADOR ORDWAY CALLS ON EMERGENCY

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  PINR  KZ  POLITICAL 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						UNCLAS ALMATY 003551 

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR EUR/CACEN (J. MUDGE)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR KZ POLITICAL
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: AMBASSADOR ORDWAY CALLS ON EMERGENCY
SITUATIONS MINISTER

REF: ALMATY 3147



1. (SBU) Summary/Background: Ambassador Ordway met with
Kazakhstani Minister of Emergency Situations Shalbai
Kulmakhanov in Astana on September 21. In a cordial
meeting, covered by local press, Kulmakhanov discussed the
challenges his ministry faces and his hopes for continued
cooperation with the United States. Local press interviewed
the Ambassador after the meeting, questioning him about the
U.S. response to Hurricane Katrina.



2. (U) Shalbai Kulmakhanov, 59, was named Minister of
Emergency Situations in August 2005. He replaced Mukhambet
Kopey, who had led the Ministry since its elevation from
agency to ministerial status in September 2004. Previously,
Kulmakhanov served as akim of his native Almatinskaya
oblast. A construction engineer by trade, he spent much of
his career as a Communist Party bureaucrat in the Kazakh SSR
and, since independence, also spent four years heading the
predecessor agencies of the Ministry of Emergency Situations
(MES). End Summary/Background.



3. (U) Kulmakhanov told the Ambassador that he was pleased
with the Ministry's record of cooperation with the Arizona
National Guard. He hopes to expand cooperation with the
United States to include long-term training for MES
firefighters in Phoenix, internships for MES executive
personnel with FEMA and language training. Noting that the
MES budget is set to increase by 29% in 2006, Kulmakhanov
also expressed interest in buying American vehicles for MES,
possibly including helicopters.



4. (U) Kulmakhanov said that Kazakhstan will invite
representatives from the Arizona National Guard to
participate in a 2006 exercise. He was enthusiastic about
MES' participation by computer in the RESCUER MEDCUER
exercise, which took place in Germany and Georgia. He said
Kazakhstan would be interested in hosting the 2006 iteration
of the exercise.



5. (SBU) Asked by the Ambassador what significant threats
the MES is concerned about, Kulmakhanov named natural
disasters as most important. Specifically, MES is concerned
about possible flooding in the Syr Darya river valley (South
Kazakhstan), flooding in any region of the country resulting
from runoff from melting snow and earthquakes. Kulmakhanov
did not mention avian influenza, but when queried on that
subject by the Ambassador he described the MES role as one
of coordination (Note: The Ministry of Emergency Situations
chairs the GOK interagency panel on avian influenza; see
Reftel.) Noting that the Ministries of Health and
Agriculture were the natural responders to the problem,
Kulmakhanov did say that MES has helped local authorities
implement prevention and response measures.



6. (U) After leaving the meeting with Kulmakhanov, the
Ambassador was interviewed briefly by three Kazakhstani
television journalists. Their questions addressed the U.S.
Government's response to Hurricane Katrina and its
acceptance of foreign assistance. When asked specifically
whether Kazakhstan had offered or provided assistance,
Ambassador noted that the idea was raised during former
President Clinton's visit; however the United States and the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs are still consulting on the
amount and form of any prospective aid that Kazakhstan might
provide.



7. (U) Minimize for Dushanbe considered.

Ordway


NNNN