Strengthening Ties Over 31 Years
Drawing on three decades of diplomatic relations, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kairat Umarov, warmly extended a welcome to the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Donald Lu, along with a high-level U.S. delegation.
It is noteworthy that the ESPD has consistently proven to be a critical platform designed to foster mutually beneficial cooperation and propel the advancement of shared priorities between the two nations.
At the outset of the meeting, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Kairat Umarov emphasized the success of the first-ever C5+1 Presidential Summit, which took place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2023.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu underscored Kazakhstan’s active support of the C5+1 diplomatic platform, noting its significance in addressing regional challenges and creating a more prosperous and secure Central Asia. He also reaffirmed the unwavering commitment of the United States to support Kazakhstan’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.
Discussing Critical Issues
The Kazakh and U.S. delegations engaged in comprehensive discussions, encompassing a range of political and security topics. These included regional geopolitical concerns, counterterrorism measures, law enforcement cooperation, countering the synthetic drugs threat, and exploring avenues for partnership in the realm of non-proliferation.
Both sides stressed the importance of maintaining open channels of communication, including dialogues and mutual visits.
Advancing Economic Cooperation
The delegations also delved into priority economic initiatives, with a focus on facilitating and diversifying trade and investment. They explored collaborative efforts to expand the deployment of clean energy and address the climate crisis. Additionally, the discussions encompassed critical minerals and geology partnerships, as well as science and technology cooperation.
The participants fervently underscored the significance of sustainable development of transport routes and collaboratively identified the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI) as a potential avenue to achieve this goal. Simultaneously, both sides ardently expressed a mutual desire to continue working toward permanent normal trade relations, with ongoing consultations on sanctions policy.
The Human Dimension
During the discussion on the human dimension, the United States and Kazakhstan underscored their commitment to political reforms, good governance, and the rule of law. They also highlighted continued education exchange programs.
Additionally, the two delegations discussed efforts to promote media freedom and foster a resilient civil society. They affirmed their commitment to protecting the rights of persons with disabilities and combatting trafficking in persons.
First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Kairat Umarov emphasized Kazakhstan’s dedication to fully implementing President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s reform agenda, while U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu reaffirmed strong U.S. support for advancing these reforms, rooted in mutual interests and shared values.
A Pledge to Continue Collaborating
First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Kairat Umarov, and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, Donald Lu, passionately reiterated the value of the ESPD as a vital format to enhance bilateral cooperation.
Subsequently, they expressed their strong intention to convene the next U.S.-Kazakhstan ESPD in Washington in 2024, emphatically signaling their unwavering commitment to strengthen ties and collaboratively address shared challenges.