06ASTANA158, KAZAKHSTANI SURVEY TEAM IDENTIFIES PRIORITIES IN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06ASTANA158 2006-10-03 11:37 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7801
PP RUEHAST
DE RUEHAST #0158/01 2761137
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 031137Z OCT 06
FM USOFFICE ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0282
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ASTANA 0303
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0036
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 0005
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ALMATY PRIORITY 0244

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000158 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
SIPDIS, DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/CEN (M. O'MARA), SCA/A (N. SINGH) 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECIN EINV MARR NATO AF KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTANI SURVEY TEAM IDENTIFIES PRIORITIES IN 
AFGHANISTAN 
 
REF: ALMATY 3296 
 
1. (SBU) Summary:  Kazakhstan will focus on humanitarian 
assistance, participation in investment projects, and broadening 
commercial ties with Afghanistan, according to the Deputy 
Foreign Minister who led the recent survey team to Kabul and two 
northern provinces.  As a regional leader, Kazakhstan needs to 
participate in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.  It is not 
able to participate militarily or to lead a Provincial 
Reconstruction Team at this time, however.  End summary. 
 
2. (SBU) The Charge met with Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat 
Abdrakhmanov on October 3 to discuss the conclusions of the 
Kazakhstani survey team which visited Afghanistan the week of 
September 24.  Abdrakhmanov, who led the team, expressed 
appreciation for U.S. and ISAF support for the team's visits to 
Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif, and Maimana. 
 
3. (SBU) Kazakhstan needs to be represented in Afghanistan in a 
way that corresponds to Kazakhstan's status as a regional 
leader, Abdrakhmanov said.  The team's meetings with national 
and local leaders had revealed great demand for both assistance 
and investment.  As a result, Abdrakhmanov stated, Kazakhstan 
would focus on three tracks of engagement:  humanitarian 
assistance, participation in investment projects, and commercial 
ties. 
 
4. (SBU) Kazakhstani military participation "is impossible at 
this point," according to the Deputy Foreign Minister, because 
of threats by the Taliban and Al Qaeda against Muslim nations 
that send troops to Afghanistan.  Abdrakhmanov added that 
Kazakhstan was not ready to consider leading a Provincial 
Reconstruction Team (PRT), in part due to the significant cost. 
He noted that the GOK would look at the possibility of 
implementing certain projects via PRTs, as well as through UNOPS. 
 
------------------- 
 
Forms of Engagement 
 
------------------- 
 
5. (SBU) With regard to humanitarian assistance, Abdrakhmanov 
mentioned that Kazakhstan was considering helping to train 
Afghanistan's police, armed forces, and medical personnel. 
 
6. (SBU) Kazakhstan would also consider upcoming tenders for 
copper, iron ore, oil, and gas exploration, he said. 
Abdrakhmanov speculated that the opportunities in Afghanistan 
were probably too small for a Western oil major like Chevron, 
but might be a good fit for Kazakhstani firms.  Abdrakhmanov 
mentioned that the survey team had seen the Kabul Grain Elevator 
project as a potential investment opportunity.  He cautioned 
that Kazakhstani economic engagement would depend on the final 
form of Afghan legislation now under consideration to create the 
legal framework for tenders and foreign investment.  He added 
that the team's conversations with Afghan leaders had given them 
confidence that the government was on the right track toward 
creating a solid legal framework. 
 
7. (SBU) Abdrakhmanov said that the survey team had seen 
opportunities to expand commercial ties between Kazakhstan and 
Afghanistan, despite significant competition from other 
suppliers in the region.  He mentioned possible sales of grain 
for human consumption and animal feed, as well as leasing of 
agricultural machinery. 
 
---------- 
 
Next Steps 
 
---------- 
 
8. (SBU) The next step will be to obtain interagency agreement 
on allocating budget money for the various areas of engagement, 
Abdrakhmanov said.  He expressed confidence that funding 
approval would be forthcoming, given President Nazarbayev's 
personal engagement on the issue.  Abdrakhmanov added that he 
understood that Kazakhstan's engagement in Afghanistan had been 
discussed during President Nazarbayev's recent meeting with Vice 
President Cheney in Washington, as well as during Foreign 
Minister Tokayev's meeting with Secretary Rice.  The Charge told 
Abdrakhmanov that Embassy Astana was ready to help facilitate 
Kazakhstan's engagement with Afghanistan.  The Deputy Foreign 
Minister cautioned that the GOK's decision-making might take a 
little time, as Kazakhstan had to be certain that it could 
 
ASTANA 00000158  002 OF 002 
 
 
fulfill any obligations it takes on. 
 
9. (SBU) Abdrakhmanov concluded by saying that the survey trip 
had been the beginning of what would be long-lasting cooperation 
between Kazakhstan and Afghanistan.  He added that the team had 
been quite impressed with the professionalism, vision of the 
future, and knowledge of the national and regional leaders with 
whom the team met in Afghanistan.  The visit had left the survey 
team quite optimistic about the potential for Kazakhs
tan's 
involvement, while at the same time aware of the many problems 
Afghanistan still faces in the form of security threats, 
narcotics trafficking, and corruption. 
MILAS

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