National Press Club

Kazakh Official: Good Relations with U.S. to Continue

November 24, 2008 | By Peter Hickman

The Chairman of the Committee for International Affairs, Defense and Security of the Lower House of Parliament of Uzbekistan told a Nov. 21 Newsmaker that good relations with the U.S. are one of his Central Asian country's “highest foreign policy priorities” and that he thinks those ties will continue on a positive note under an Obama administration.

Nurbakh Rustemov noted that President-elect Obama had called Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Mr. also told the audience that the former Soviet republic supports President Bush's policy of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and that it is one of the few Muslim nations supporting multinational operations in Iraq.

Kazakhstan has sent a fully-equipped unit of 30 military engineers as part of the International Stabilization Forces in the Middle Eastern country. Rustemov said the U.S. and Kazakhstan have enhanced bilateral military cooperation, including weapons delivery from Washington and joint training exercises. He said his country is working closely with countries in the Caspian Sea region to enhance energy development, and with Azerbaijan and Georgia to help re-establish stability in those countries.