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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06ALMATY216
2006-01-23 09:38:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
US Office Almaty
Cable title:  

KAZAKHSTAN: SECRETARY JOHANNS' JANUARY 11 MEETING

Tags:   OVIP  PREL  ECON  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 SECTION 01 OF 02 ALMATY 000216 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 190356: N/A
TAGS: OVIP PREL ECON KZ POLITICAL
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: SECRETARY JOHANNS' JANUARY 11 MEETING
WITH FOREIGN MINISTER TOKAYEV



1. (U) Participants in Secretary Johanns' January 11
meeting with Kazakhstani Foreign Minister Tokayev in
Astana:

U.S.
Secretary Mike Johanns

SIPDIS
Mrs. Stephanie Johanns
Ambassador John Ordway
Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and
Agricultural Affairs Josette Shiner
Under Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs
Timothy Adams
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and
Eurasian Affairs Matthew Bryza
Lynne Tracy (Principal Officer, Astana)
Jim Loveland (Embassy Notetaker)

KAZAKHSTAN
Foreign Minister Kazymzhomart Tokayev
Ambassador to the U.S. Kanat Saudabayev
Director, Europe and America Department, MFA, Serzhan
Abdykarimov
Americas Desk Officer, MFA, Aidar Shakenov
MFA Press Spokesman Ilyas Samarov



2. (SBU) Summary: In his January 11 meeting with
Kazakhstani Foreign Minister Tokayev, Secretary of
Agriculture Johanns commended Tokayev for Kazakhstan's
economic accomplishments and clear improvements in the
conduct of elections, while urging the GOK to undertake
further political reforms. The Secretary followed up on an
earlier January 11 discussion (septel) of regional issues
with President Nazarbayev, addressing the potential for
greater regional infrastructure development and security
cooperation. Tokayev acknowledged the need for further
political reform, while noting that the country's
geopolitical and sociological context demanded patience.
End Summary.

Highlighting Importance of Regional Issues


--------------------------





3. (SBU) Secretary Johanns and his delegation met with
Kazakhstani Foreign Minister Tokayev on January 11. The
meeting occurred hours after Nazarbayev's inauguration, and
minutes after the delegation met with President Nazarbayev.
The Secretary opened the discussion by reflecting on
Nazarbayev's sizeable margin of victory in the December
election. "It is clear he has a mandate,"
he said. Secretary Johanns told Tokayev that, in
Nazarbayev's new term, "we see an opportunity to build our
past relationship into something even more significant."



4. (SBU) Secretary Johanns informed Tokayev that he had
discussed regional issues, including infrastructure and
security, with Nazarbayev earlier that day. "It is very
important," Tokayev agreed, adding that "so far, we haven't
exploited existing opportunities." The region, he said, was
characterized by "jealousy and competition." "We sleep in
the same bed," he said of the Central Asian states, "but
our dreams are different." One success, he noted, was that
all five Central Asian states had signed TIFA (Trade and

Investment Framework Agreement). Tokayev said that his
government had proposed to Secretary Rice going a step
further and implementing ideas discussed in the context of
the agreement.

GOK Need to Address Electoral Shortcomings


--------------------------





5. (SBU) Secretary Johanns told Tokayev that Nazarbayev
commands a great deal of respect. Economically, the
country reflected "so many positives." Discussion of
political reform was encouraging. Secretary Johanns noted
that he had told Nazarbayev that "we are encouraged by the
elections - there were significant improvements."
Nazarbayev clearly "has the support of his people," Johanns
observed; it was now crucial to follow through on reform
rather than letting problems fester.

Tokayev: Stability and Reform Intertwined


--------------------------





6. (SBU) Commenting on the election results, Tokayev
remarked that "people appreciated his (Nazarbayev's)
efforts." Twelve years ago, following independence, "no
one believed we could succeed. Not even Gorbachev. Now we
feel we have succeeded." Tokayev said that Nazarbayev had
"great commitment to political reform." Nazarbayev had
decided to first "build the economic basis" of the country.
He realized that not undertaking further political reforms
would be dangerous to the stability of the country, and
maintaining stability was "our number one goal."



7. (SBU) "We have to persuade people to be patient,"
Tokayev continued, "being mindful of the political context
- Russia, China, Afghanistan - and the country's lack of
experience." "Kazakhstani society is not an easy one,"
Tokayev added, noting that within society there was
considerable nationalistic sentiment, as well as "some who
were inclined to religious extremism." However, he
concluded, "we will be successful. Our commitment to the
U.S. is unchangeable."

Political Reform: Opportunity to Cement a Legacy


--------------------------

---



8. (SBU) Secretary Johanns remarked that, in looking back
over only a short period of time since independence, "you
know you are on the right course." With a clear mandate
and a working economy, Nazarbayev "has an opportunity to
establish a legacy." Political reform in Kazakhstan,
Secretary Johanns concluded, "would be an example for the

SIPDIS
world."



9. (SBU) Secretary Johanns and Tokayev ended the meeting
with a brief discussion of agriculture. Tokayev noted that
his government was still working on the issue of
agricultural subsidies within the context of WTO accession.
The Secretary offered USG technical assistance on the
issue.



10. (U) Secretary Johanns did not have the opportunity to
clear this cable.

ASQUINO