The Astana Times – Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Tileuberdi met with United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken on May 20 as part of his two-day visit to Washington D.C. for bilateral talks to discuss cooperation between Kazakhstan and the US, reports the ministry’s press service.
Tileuberdi said Kazakhstan would continue to strengthen cooperation with the US, in line with the country’s multi-vector foreign policy.
“Over 30 years of diplomatic relations, our bilateral cooperation has been brought to the level of an enhanced strategic partnership,” he said, speaking in detail about his country’s sweeping reforms and the upcoming national referendum.
Secretary Blinken stressed the partnership is based on the “unwavering commitment of the US to the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Kazakhstan” and described President Tokayev’s political and economic reforms as a positive step in promoting prosperity, strengthening security, and protecting human rights in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.
The US will support its partners, including Kazakhstan, in minimizing the impact of the sanctions imposed on Russia, said Blinken, thanking Tileuberdi for Kazakhstan’s generous humanitarian assistance, both at the government level and by individuals, to the people of Ukraine.
Energy security was the main focus of Tileuberdi’s meeting with U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk on the same day. Tileuberdi noted that Kazakhstan is a reliable partner both in the energy sector and in nuclear non-proliferation.
With the increasing importance of clean energy sources and zero-emission economies, Kazakhstan is also aligning its economic priorities with the climate agenda by focusing on decarbonizing the economy and introducing low-carbon technologies. The nation set an ambitious goal to achieve decarbonization by 2060.
A day earlier, Tileuberdi had meetings in the White House, the U.S. Congress, the Department of Commerce, as well as with representatives of the business community.
During the talks with U.S. Homeland Security Advisor and Deputy National Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Rendall and Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jonathan Finer, the sides discussed the strategic partnership between the two countries.
While meeting with Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Marisa Lago and heads of some of the largest American companies, including Boeing, Valmont Industries, Honeywell, Pfizer, and Champion Foods, they emphasized the need to expand trade relations and increase the number of trade missions. Finance, agriculture, as well as the diversification of transportation routes in light of sanctions, were outlined as promising areas of cooperation moving forward.
The US is by far one of the largest trading partners and foreign investors in Kazakhstan bringing nearly US$55 billion of investments over the past 30 years.
Tileuberdi’s visit comes just a month after a top-level delegation from Kazakhstan, led by First Deputy Chief of the Presidential Staff Timur Suleimenov, also visited the US to reinvigorate the bilateral ties with the US and meet in person with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank officials – something that has long been impossible because of the COVID-19 pandemic.