President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan paid the official three-day visit to the United States on January 16-19, 2018.
After the welcome ceremony, Nursultan Nazarbayev signed the guest book in the Roosevelt Room.
Nazarbayev and Trump had a meeting in the Oval Office. In attendance at the meeting were representatives of U.S. and Kazakhstani mass media.
After the meeting in the Oval Office, the heads of state held a joint press conference.
I am confident that my visit will elevate Kazakh-U.S. relations to the level of enhanced strategic partnership for the benefit of the two nations. We will adopt the joint statement symbolizing the beginning of the new stage in Astana-Washington relations.
Having you at the White House is an honor. Mr. President, thank you for visiting with us. We have very important discussions going on.
Nazarbayev and Trump continued their talks in the expanded format during the luncheon at the White House.
The meeting resulted in the adoption of the joint statement on enhanced strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and the U.S. in the 21st century:
In recognizing the growth of the relationship between the United States and Kazakhstan since its independence in 1991, the leaders resolved to strengthen cooperation on political and security issues, trade and investment, and people-to-people relationships through regular high-level meetings within the framework of an Enhanced Strategic Partnership Dialogue. The two leaders committed to address shared challenges in Central Asia through regional formats, such as the C5+1 dialogue (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan + the United States), and welcomed future Afghan participation in C5+1 projects. They resolved to seek a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan, and to pursue initiatives fostering greater political and economic cooperation in the region. The two leaders pledged to deepen their cooperation against violent extremism and international terrorism, while respecting the rule of law and human rights.
Legacy of International Leadership
President Trump noted Kazakhstan's global leadership as an elected member of the United Nations Security Council in 2017-2018. He praised Kazakhstan's legacy as a leader in international non-proliferation efforts, beginning with the voluntary renunciation of its nuclear arsenal in 1992, and reinforced by ongoing commitments to nuclear security and recent support for preventing the spread and use of chemical weapons. Both leaders condemned the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including North Korea's unlawful nuclear and missile programs. The leaders welcomed the recent opening of the International Atomic Energy Agency Low Enriched Uranium Bank in Kazakhstan, which seeks to decrease the risk of nuclear enrichment technology proliferation.
President Trump thanked President Nazarbayev for Kazakhstan's steadfast commitment to support the United States' South Asia strategy by guaranteeing continuous logistical support and access to Afghanistan, and Kazakhstan's contributions to humanitarian efforts. The two leaders recognized that only an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process will bring stability and security to Afghanistan. President Trump highlighted Kazakhstan's past financial contributions to the Afghan security forces. Expressing support for fair burden sharing, President Nazarbayev reaffirmed Kazakhstan's commitment of additional support to address security challenges in Afghanistan. He also offered to extend a program to train Afghan civilian and security personnel in Kazakhstan, with an emphasis on empowering Afghan women. Both leaders welcomed Kazakhstan's participation in Afghan transportation infrastructure development projects. Regarding Syria, the two sides welcomed diplomatic initiatives that achieve genuine de-escalation of violence and strengthens the basis for a political settlement of the conflict through the United Nation-led Geneva peace process.
Defense and Security Cooperation
The two leaders pledged to deepen bilateral defense and security relationships, noting their intent to conclude several agreements that enhance cooperation, interoperability, access, and logistical routes in support of regional security. Both leaders noted the signing of the fourth Five Year Plan for Military Cooperation between the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the United States Department of Defense. The presidents committed to explore Kazakhstan's interest in joining the Cybercrime Convention, which would provide a framework for global cooperation against threats to e-commerce and crimes committed over the internet. Participation in these kinds of multilateral agreements further strengthens law enforcement cooperation and information sharing to combat international terrorism and violent extremism.
Strengthening Economic Cooperation
President Trump and President Nazarbayev pledged to promote a fair and reciprocal economic partnership that increases bilateral trade and investment, and creates jobs and opportunities in both countries. President Nazarbayev welcomed the United States as a leading investor in Kazakhstan. President Trump encouraged Kazakhstan to implement its World Trade Organization obligations, uphold fair labor practices, enforce the sanctity of contracts, and protect intellectual property rights, as a foundation for future participation in international economic organizations. President Trump applauded Kazakhstan's ambitious plans to develop a diverse and innovative economy, noting that United States development finance institutions seek to support investments in Kazakhstan. Both leaders expressed their support for legislation to provide Kazakhstan with permanent normal trade relations and noted that this status will further strengthen the bilateral trade relationship. They recognized the recent elevation of the Strategic Energy Dialogue, which outlines bilateral energy cooperation, including oil and gas, nuclear non-proliferation, and civilian nuclear development. The leaders pledged to explore bilateral cooperation in the digital economy, healthcare, infrastructure, commercial aviation, finance and banking, agriculture, and space exploration sectors. They also reinforced their commitment to the Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and welcomed Afghan participation in future TIFA Council meetings. Kazakhstan and the United States plan to strengthen cooperation in the use of space technologies to assess environmental hazards and mitigate the threat of natural disasters in Kazakhstan. The leaders intend to consult on sanctions issues to avoid any unintended consequences for Kazakhstan's economy. Finally, President Trump congratulated President Nazarbayev on the success of Astana EXPO 2017, which showcased Kazakhstan's economic potential, and will become the future home of the Astana International Finance Center.
The Human Dimension
The presidents acknowledged that efforts to develop human capital are an investment in the future, which will sustain the global competitiveness of both countries. Both leaders welcomed the reciprocal expansion of diplomatic and consular presence in both countries. President Trump encouraged Kazakhstan's goal to increase English language proficiency, and pledged to offer assistance to improve English education programs in Kazakhstani schools.
President Nazarbayev met with Ray W. Washburne, CEO of Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)
The Head of State emphasized the importance of strengthening relations in the sphere of investment and implementation of joint mutually profitable projects. Mr. Washburne, in turn, announced the upcoming signing of the memorandum of cooperation with Kazakh Invest.
President Nazarbayev met with U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry
The meeting with U.S. businessmen resulted in signing of more than 20 commercial agreements on investments and economic cooperation totaling over $7 billion aimed at implementing projects in the field of aviation and space research, petrochemical and agricultural industries as well as infrastructure development. Additionally, three intergovernmental agreements were concluded.
In his speech, Nursultan Nazarbayev underlined the strategic nature of Kazakh-American relations, stressing that the U.S. is the second largest investor of Kazakhstan's economy with American businesses investing over $ 50 billion in our country since its independence. The President also noted that in 2017 the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to about $2 billion and that today there are more than 500 companies in Kazakhstan with American participation. According to the President, the country has established partnership relations with a number of large American companies such as Chevron, Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Haliburton, and more.
Speaking at the roundtable, the President of Kazakhstan also stressed the importance of the Joint Statement on enhanced strategic partnership the countries adopted earlier in the course of his visit.
The Head of State proceeded to speak about the development of Kazakhstan's transport and transit potential, as well as the measures the country is taking in order to create favorable conditions for doing business, including its relentless work in terms of improving the investment climate and protecting investors' rights.
Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed that Kazakhstan is an associated member of the OECD Investment Committee and signed the Organization's Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises. He also noted that the country has introduced a visa-free regime for citizens of 62 countries, including the U.S., offers a liberal legislation on entrepreneurship, as well as 11 special economic and 22 industrial zones that provide all the necessary infrastructure and preferences.
Further on, the Head of State dwelled upon the digitalization of the country's economy within the framework of the Digital Kazakhstan program and the introduction of innovations in production.
Speaking about the agro-industrial complex, Nursultan Nazarbayev invited American companies to participate in the implementation of joint projects in this sphere.
In his speech, the President also focused on the privatization program that is currently underway in Kazakhstan and touched upon the prospects of the projects in the sphere of green economy, stressing that in 2017 the country successfully hosted the World EXPO, which was themed The Future Energy and gave its participants a unique opportunity to demonstrate their high-tech and intellectual potential in terms of "clean" energy. According to him, the heritage of the exhibition, such as the International Center for the Development of Green Technologies and Investments and the Astana International Financial Center will continue to contribute to the innovative and sustainable development of the world.
Nursultan Nazarbayev spoke at length about the AIFC's special status and prospects, stressing that the Center is committed to creating a high-tech stock exchange in Kazakhstan and in order to do that has partnered with Shanghai Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. According to him, Kazakhstan's International Financial Center should become a regional center for the development of "green", Islamic, as well as innovative financing.
Concluding his speech, Nursultan Nazarbayev expressed confidence that the meeting will give impetus to the Astana-Washington rapprochement as well as the strengthening of mutually beneficial partnership between the countries.
In turn, the representatives of U.S. business circles expressed their interest in expanding economic cooperation with Kazakhstan.
The Akorda has also reported that more than 20 documents for a total worth of over $7 billion aimed at implementing projects in the field of aviation and space research, petrochemical and agricultural industries, as well as infrastructure development have been signed within the framework of President Nazarbayev's official visit to the U.S.
The countries have also concluded three intergovernmental agreements, including on waiving charges for air navigation services for state aircraft; the Protocol to the Agreement on the provision of commercial rail transit through the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan; and the Agreement on the improvement of international tax discipline.
Nazarbayev and Pence welcomed strengthening and further expansion of trade and economic relations between Kazakhstan and the U.S.
Nursultan Nazarbayev traveled from Washington, D.C. to New York City where he was scheduled to chair and address the high-level meeting of the UN Security Council themed “The non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction: confidence-building measures”. While in New York, the Head of State held a number of meetings with CEOs of large American companies. For instance, the President met with President and CEO of Nasdaq Adena Friedman.
The sides noted the importance of long-term partnership for the formation of a positive investment climate in Kazakhstan.
They touched upon further cooperation between the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) and Goldman Sachs.
During his meeting with Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil Darren W. Woods, the Kazakh leader commended the well-established economic partnership between Kazakhstan and ExxonMobil in oil and gas sector.
The Astana Ballet Theater presented the Kazakhstan – Astana Ballet Gala program within the framework of the Modern Kazakhstan Culture in the Global World project. It was well received by the American public.
The UN Security Council high-level meeting themed “Non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD): confidence-building measures” started under the chairmanship of President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan.
Then, according to the agenda, Nursultan Nazarbayev gave the floor to UN Secretary General António Guterres.
Afterwards, President Nazarbayev addressed the UN Security Council Members.
At the meeting, President Nazarbayev emphasized that stakeholders certainly must revive political trust and systematic dialogue in the international community.
"From the 47th session of the UN General Assembly I proposed the establishment the regional structure for security and confidence-building measures in Asia. Following diplomatic efforts, this mechanism was established. Presently, the CICA is successfully operating and bringing together 26 states of the region.
A quarter of a century has elapsed and now once again I address the United Nations on behalf of Kazakhstan, now, as a non-permanent member of the Security Council. However, it behooves me to note that the question of increasing mutual confidence both among some countries and at the global level remains urgent and acute and is becoming all the more relevant," the Kazakh President said.
Nazarbayev went on by saying that confidence-building measures should remain on the agenda as the most important element in the maintenance of the global security architecture and the strengthening of peace throughout the planet. "Why is this so? Firstly, confidence-building measures have justified themselves throughout the process of preventing the threat of total destruction during the second half of the 21st century when humankind stood at the brink of a major large-scale war. The United Nations Charter states that our main goal is to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. Over a quarter of a century at the United Nations my country has made a sweeping transition from an owner of the world's fourth largest nuclear arsenal to a leader in global non-proliferation at the same time closing the largest nuclear site in Semipalatinsk," the Head of State pointed out.
The Kazakh leader underscored the renunciation of nuclear weapons and nuclear power status was Kazakhstan's deliberate and sincere choice of voluntary initiative supported by all the people of Kazakhstan and duly appreciated by the international community. Presently, Kazakhstan is a party to all fundamental international treaties in the arena of nuclear security and it has legally enshrined its nuclear-weapons-free status.
"Secondly, the atmosphere of mutual trust may facilitate the creation of a new model for international cooperation. A shining example and practical embodiment of such cooperation is the opening last year of the IAEA Low-Enriched Uranium Bank. With this Kazakhstan has made yet another contribution towards strengthening the non-proliferation regime and the safe use of uranium for peaceful purposes. Thirdly, the nuclear-free status of Kazakhstan may serve as an example and as a practical guidance for other countries. And, I state this based on our own example, we have both built and strengthened our independent country. We have achieved a high international standing specifically by renouncing nuclear weapons and securing non-aggression safeguards from nuclear powers. We call upon all other states to follow our example. Now we call upon North Korea to do so," the President of Kazakhstan noted.
"Fourthly, current possibilities of science and technological progress and the realities of globalization make the task of WMD non-proliferation a matter of survival for humanity. The increase in a number of countries possessing WMDs is posing a risk of nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological weapons falling into the hands of destructive forces. The present-day legal framework for nuclear security has failed to prevent the expansion of the nuclear powers club in the late 20th century. I believe that such a much necessary need for nuclear non-proliferation underpinned by the Non-Proliferation Treaty shall require profound shifts in mentality and new multilateral political solutions," Nazarbayev declared.
The Kazakh President proposed the following measures to enhance confidence in non-proliferation: making withdrawal from the NPT more difficult; crafting a special UN Security Council resolution setting forth clear implications for those countries who breach the treaty and these would include sanctions measures and other coercive measures.
Nazarbayev reminded that some countries, for example India and Pakistan, despite the NPT continued to seek to possess nuclear weapons. The Head of State also suggested developing a truly effective mechanism for applying stringent measures against the acquisition and proliferation of WMDs. Such multilateral treaties shall be approved by UN Security Council resolutions.
As a main measure to remove incentives for the possession of WMDs President Nazarbayev deems it necessary to develop a legally binding system of safeguards by nuclear powers to those states who would voluntarily renounce the possession of nuclear weapons as well as to the states with non-nuclear status. According to the Kazakh leader, the global community should leave behind the division of countries into military blocs or alliances.
Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed that it is certainly necessary to revive political trust and systematic dialogue. In his words, the North Korean nuclear problem can be resolved through restoration of trust among the United States, Russia and China. Kazakhstan advocates the Nuclear 5 granting security guarantees to the DPRK. Kazakhstan stands ready to engage in mediation providing its platform for negotiations, should the need arise among stakeholders.
President of Poland Andrzej Duda, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah and Foreign Affairs Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov took the floor at the meeting.
President Nazarbayev extended his congratulations to Duda as Poland had assumed the responsibilities as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in January 2018. Andrzej Duda, in turn, thanked President Nazarbayev for the meeting and the opportunity to discuss the pressing issues of bilateral cooperation.
The President of Kazakhstan held a press conference summing up results of his official visit to the U.S.
At the press conference, the President answered questions of reporters of the Kazakh and international media, shared his views on Kazakhstan's Presidency over the UN Security Council, and told about the talks with Donald Trump.