06ASTANA283,

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #06ASTANA283.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06ASTANA283 2006-10-24 08:04 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO0352
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0283/01 2970804
ZNR UUUUU ZZH ZDK
R 240804Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7416
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0271
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 2087
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0393
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1638
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2146

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000283 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CACEN (MO'MARA), SCA/PPD (JKAMP), EUR/ACE 
(ESMITH/JMCKANE), DRL/PHD (CKUCHTA-HELBLING) 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KPAO KDEM KZ
SUBJ:  KAZAKHSTAN A WORTHY STRATEGIC PARTNER - MEDIA COVERAGE ON 
NAZARBAYEV VISIT 
 
 
ASTANA 00000283  001.4 OF 002 
 
 
1.  SUMMARY:  Reporting by mostly pro-government and official 
Kazakhstani media on President Nazarbayev's September 27-29 visit to 
the United States was basically uncritical and emphasized that 
Kazakhstan, as the most stable and economically prosperous nation in 
Central Asia, was a worthy strategic partner for the U.S.  Many 
analysts commented that the visit would push the relationship to "a 
new level" of mutual trust and cooperation.  Most media accredited 
for the visit were pro-government or official.  Progressive 
newspapers reprinted factual reports from accredited wire services 
and opposition papers mined criticism published in websites or 
Western publications for their assessments of the visit.  Praise for 
Nazarbayev's leadership, particularly in nuclear disarmament, 
dominated the reporting.  U.S. support for democratic reform was 
reported in the context of quotes from U.S. Government officials, 
including the joint statement and President Bush's remarks September 
29.  END SUMMARY. 
 
No Criticism from Accredited Media 
---------------------------------- 
 
2.  Almost all the dozen media accredited for Nazarbayev's visit 
were official or pro-government, with the exception of the 
independently owned Channel 31 and Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency. 
Some papers not accredited, like the progressive high circulation 
Vremya avoided commentary and instead reprinted factual reports from 
Interfax.  Opposition papers mined Western news reports and online 
sources for their assessment of the visit.  Reporting from 
accredited media was almost uniformly uncritical, laudatory, and 
included numerous quotes from American officials praising Nazarbayev 
and Kazakhstan. 
 
15 Years of Bilateral Relations - Joint Achievement 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
3.  Scene setters on the eve of the visit focused on the long term 
strategic partnership and the strong economic basis of relations.  A 
lengthy report in the official Kazakh language daily Yegemen 
Kazakhstan September 27 headlined "Hello America! How Are You, Great 
Country?" praised both countries for building mutual trust over a 
15-year relationship and for becoming "strategic partners with 
mutual interests," particularly in oil and gas trade. 
Pro-government Liter September 26 commented, "Kazakhstan is one of 
the few countries with great potential to further develop its energy 
resources.  The U.S. now views Kazakhstan as a prospective, 
strategic partner in Central Asia, a significant region in the 
international security system." 
 
New Level of Cooperation and Trust 
---------------------------------- 
 
4.  The September 30 headline in Yegemen Kazakhstan - "Collaboration 
To Reach New Level After President's U.S. Visit" - was echoed by 
many analysts before and after the visit.  In discussing the 
possibility of a trans-Caspian gas pipeline, Johns Hopkins' Central 
Asia expert Fred Starr said such an agreement could provide "a new 
impetus to long term cooperation, not only in energy, but other 
areas as well" (official Khabar TV, September 26).  Commentary in 
Liter cited "the consistency and effectiveness of projects already 
implemented by Kazakhstan" as "the basis for the transition of 
Kazakhstani-American relations to a new level."  Analyst Murat 
Laumulin of the Kazakhstani Institute for Strategic Studies 
commented in Liter October 5 that the visit had indeed "elevated 
relations with the U.S. to a new level of trust and mutual 
understanding," while noting "the burdens of bilateral relations" 
were "attempts by the U.S. to constantly push for democratization, 
human rights, media freedom and NGO development."  He held up 
Kazakhstan as "a moderate, secular, and pro-Western" role model not 
only for Central Asia, but for all Muslim countries. 
 
Nazarbayev Praised as Nonproliferation Leader 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
5.  Pro-government and official media highlighted Nazarbayev's 
successful leadership, particularly in non-proliferation efforts. 
The pro-government municipal station Almaty TV on September 27 
quoted Kazakhstani diplomats in Washington commenting that 
Nazarbayev's warm reception by President George H. W. Bush in 
Kennebunkport was "a sign of respect" for Nazarbayev personally and 
that Nazarbayev's visit "was more about the future than the past." 
Five television stations and several newspapers reported on 
Congressman Tom Lantos' resolution congratulating Nazarbayev on the 
15th anniversary of closing the Semipalatinsk testing ground and on 
 
ASTANA 00000283  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
Congresswoman Eni Faleomavaega's comment that he deserved the Nobel 
Prize for his contributions to world peace. 
 &#x0
00A;Democratic Reform Not in Headlines, but Not Ignored 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
6.  While democratic reform did not make headlines, it was 
nevertheless included in comments reported from U.S. government 
officials.  The official Russian language daily Kazakhstanskaya 
Pravda and Yegemen Kazakhstan printed the full text of the September 
29 joint statement.  (Note:  full coverage in official media of 
statements by U.S. officials on support for democratic reform is not 
a given.  Khabar removed comments on democracy from Assistant 
Secretary Boucher's September 10 interview.)  Primetime scene 
 
SIPDIS 
setters reported the visit agenda as laid in the September 12 White 
House announcement of the visit - democracy promotion, the war on 
terror, energy diversification.  On the day of the visit September 
29, official broadcasters quoted President Bush thanking President 
Nazarbayev for "his contribution to helping a new democracy in 
Iraq," and for "his concerns about democracy in Afghanistan." 
Independent Channel 31 provided a fuller account of President Bush's 
comments including the two sides' discussion of "our commitment to 
institutions that will enable liberty to flourish." 
 
7.  President Nazarbayev's emphasis on security in his September 29 
remarks was clearly reported in the weekend broadcast news on 
highest rated tabloid KTK TV, official Khabar and Channel 31. 
(Note:  because of time zones, coverage of the September 29 meeting 
only started appearing the next day in Kazakhstan).  KTK commented 
that Kazakhstan and the U.S. were long term strategic partners and 
therefore the heads of state had to discuss a wide range of 
economic, political and security issues, the last of which drew the 
president's "special attention." 
 
Opposition Media Mine Internet for Dissenting Views 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
8.  Opposition weekly Taszhargan on October 5 incorporated criticism 
from the October 4 "Voice of Democracy" electronic newsletter 
disseminated by the International Eurasia Institute website, 
believed to be affiliated with Nazarbayev's rival from the 1999 
presidential elections, Akezhan Kazhegeldin.  The article cited a 
quote from Senator Russ Feingold:  "'Many know Nazarbayev as a 
corrupt dictator and as a person who does not respect the law, who 
trampled a rising democracy and wiped out free press.  This is not a 
leader who should be accepted in the White House on an official 
visit.'"  It also mentioned Senator Carl Levin's September 26 floor 
testimony challenging President Bush to prosecute the president of 
Kazakhstan as a "kleptocrat."  The Voice of Democracy newsletter 
commented that Nazarbayev failed to achieve his number one priority, 
endorsement for Kazakhstan's chairmanship of the OSCE in 2009. 
 
9.  Opposition Respublika published comment October 20 from 
political scientist Nikolai Kuzmin on the lack of critical analysis 
in media coverage of the visit, and characterizing the visit as a 
publicity tour.  "There was no information about this visit in the 
media. . .  A high level visit should be like a national foreign 
policy event aimed at protecting our national interests. . .  This 
visit was a one-man triumph for the head of state." 
 
Ordway

Wikileaks

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: