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U.S., Kazakhstan Reaffirm Cooperation in Terror War

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2006 – The presidents of the United States and Kazakhstan today reaffirmed their commitment to working together to defeat terrorism and promote peace and stability in Central Asia and elsewhere in the world.

Speaking in the Oval Office after his meeting with President Nursultan Nazarbayev, President Bush said the two discussed “our mutual desire to support the forces of moderation throughout the world.”

Bush thanked Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s first democratically elected leader, “for his contribution to helping a new democracy in Iraq survive and thrive and grow” and his willingness to offer assistance in Afghanistan, as well.

Kazakhstan is among the former communist nations supporting coalition operations helping nations like Iraq and Afghanistan rebuild with a democratic foundation, even as they themselves continue to build their nations with democratic rule.

Nazarbayev noted the United States’ support for his country’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and its immediate recognition of Kazakhstan’s new government. The two countries have become close partners in a wide range of fronts, including the war on terrorism, he said.

Kazakhstan’s progress, particularly its booming economic growth, wouldn’t have been possible if the Taliban had not been defeated in Afghanistan, Nazarbayev said. “And that war was led by United States,” he said.

No one in Central Asia would feel safe or at peace if surrounded by countries populated by terrorists or those who seek nuclear weapons, he said. “I'm here today to tell once again that Kazakhstan is a friend of the United States because the United States is the country that guaranteed stability and protection of Kazakhstan when Kazakhstan renounced nuclear weapons,” he said. “And we will continue to work in all fields of our cooperation that exist today.”

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