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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06ASTANA668 2006-11-27 04:24 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

DE RUEHTA #0668/01 3310424
P 270424Z NOV 06

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 000668 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/27/2016 
REF: A. STATE 185480 
     B. STATE 185757 
     C. ASTANA 651 
     D. ALMATY 1210 
Classified By: Amb. John Ordway, reasons 1.4 (B) and (D). 
1. (C) Summary:  In a November 25 meeting with Foreign 
Minister Kasymzhomart Tokayev in Astana, the Ambassador 
proposed policy discussions on the permanent disposition of 
BN-350 spent fuel, expressed disappointment at Kazakhstan's 
voting record in the Third Committee, and offered expanded 
training opportunities for Kazakhstani diplomats at the 
Marshall Center.  Tokayev indicated that Kazakhstan would 
support the resolution on Myanmar in the UNGA, and expressed 
interest in sending mid-level diplomats to the Marshall 
Center. The Ambassador also commended Kazakhstan's readiness 
to take back its citizens detained at Guantanamo and to 
expand its engagement with Afghanistan.  Tokayev, who now has 
the interagency lead on cooperation with Afghanistan, 
described plans to pursue a variety of economic projects in 
2007.  Tokayev informed the Ambassador that President 
Nazarbayev would call for sweeping reform of the Commonwealth 
of Independent States at the organization's November 28 
summit in Minsk, despite Russian opposition.  Tokayev 
promised to look into the status of an agreement to permit 
political party training by U.S.-funded NGOs.  The Foreign 
Minister agreed that the November 21 demolition of Hare 
Krishna homes had been conducted in a cruel and ill-advised 
manner, and informed the Ambassador that the Security Council 
would discuss the issue in the near future.  Finally, Tokayev 
shared his concerns regarding China's aggressive push to 
invest in Kazakhstan.  End summary. 
Permanent Disposition of BN-350 Spent Fuel 
2. (SBU) The Ambassador told FM Tokayev that during President 
Nazarbayev's September 28 meeting in Washington with 
Secretary of Energy Bodman, Nazarbayev had agreed to discuss 
options for the permanent disposition of the spent fuel from 
the BN-350 reactor once it is moved to Kurchatov.  The U.S. 
would like to hold policy discussions on this issue in Astana 
in January, to be followed by technical discussions (Refs A 
and B).  The Ambassador told Tokayev that he would also 
discuss the matter with Security Council Chairman Murat 
Tazhin and Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Bakhyt 
Izmukhambetov.  Tokayev indicated that the proposal was 
UN Resolutions 
3. (C) The U.S. had hoped for greater cooperation from 
Kazakhstan on a series of human rights resolutions in the 
UNGA's Third Committee, the Ambassador noted.  While we were 
pleased that Kazakhstan had supported the resolution on the 
DPRK, we were disappointed that Kazakhstan supported a number 
of no-action motions on other important resolutions and 
abstained on the Myanmar resolution.  FM Tokayev said that 
Kazakhstan would support the Myanmar resolution in the UNGA, 
but found it impossible to break ranks with fellow CIS 
members Uzbekistan and Belarus.  He claimed that Uzbek 
President Karimov refused to attend the recent summit of 
Turkic nations primarily because Turkey had supported UN 
resolutions on Uzbekistan in the past. 
CIS Summit 
4. (C) Tokayev said that the GOK was preparing intensively 
for the November 28 summit of the Commonwealth of Independent 
States (CIS) in Minsk, as Kazakhstan currently chairs the 
organization.  President Nazarbayev will speak about the need 
to reform the organization, make it more compact and 
efficient, and focus it more clearly on core issues. 
Initiatives such as the proposed free trade area were a waste 
of time, according to Tokayev.  Kazakhstan did not agree with 
Belarusian President Lukashenko's recent call to disband the 
organization, but did believe serious reform was necessary. 
ASTANA 00000668  002 OF 003 
Kazakhstan would pursue reform despite the fact that Russia 
is opposed and is urging fellow CIS members to avoid 
"radical" changes.  Tokayev described current CIS Secretary 
General Rushaylo as "destructive."  Tokayev argued that the 
fact that all heads of state except for Turkmenbashi were 
planning to attend the upcoming summit, despite their 
bilateral differences, underscored the important role of the 
organization as a forum for dialogue. 
Kazakhstani Engagement in Afghanistan 
5. (SBU) The Ambassador asked Tokayev about his role as the 
interagency lead on Kazakhstan's engagement with Afghanistan. 
 Tokayev said that much progress had already been made, in 
part thanks to encouragement from the U.S., and Kazakhstan 
planned to continue to expand its contacts.  Tokayev noted 
that Nazarbayev had briefed UK Prime Minister Blair on 
Kazakhstan's plans during their November 20 meeting in 
London.  At this stage, according to Tokayev, the focus is on 
investment and economic projects.  From a political and 
financial point of view it is "early" to discuss 
participation in a PRT, he added.  Tokayev said that many 
experts from Kazakhstan will visit Afghanistan in 2007 to 
discuss cooperation in areas such as oil, gas, and copper. 
He noted that some Afghanis had told him that, because they 
found it difficult to work with large U.S. oil and gas firms 
and did not want to work with Russian firms, they were eager 
for cooperation with Kazakhstani firms.  He had already heard 
from several firms that were eager to explore options in 
Training of Kazakhstani Diplomats 
6. (SBU) The Ambassador proposed increasing the number of 
junior and mid-level Kazakhstani diplomats who are trained 
each year at the Marshall Center.  He noted that the 12-week 
National Security course, offered three times per year, would 
be an excellent preparation for diplomats who would have a 
role in an eventual OSCE chairmanship.  Tokayev said that he 
was quite interested in the proposal and that the MFA would 
definitely send staff to the Marshall Center for training. 
7. (C) He informed the Ambassador that Kazakhstan receives 
significant pressure from both Russia and China not to 
participate in Marshall Center activities because of the 
organization's alleged work to undermine the Shanghai 
Cooperation Organization.  Kazakhstan realizes that the 
allegations are baseless and will continue to work with the 
Marshall Center, Tokayev said. 
Guantanamo Detainees 
8. (SBU) The U.S. was very pleased to have received 
Kazakhstan's diplomatic note containing the necessary 
assurances to permit the return of its citizens held at 
Guantanamo, the Ambassador said.  We will work with 
Kazakhstan to coordinate their transfer.  The Ambassador 
noted that we had heard that Kazakhstani security forces 
wanted to visit Guantanamo once more before the transfer 
takes place; if that is still the case, the Kazakhstani 
Embassy in Washington should contact the Department of 
Defense through established channels.  Tokayev said he would 
follow up on the issue. 
Political Party Training 
9. (SBU) Despite the apparent good will of the Presidential 
Administration and the Ministry of Justice, not to mention 
the commitment expressed in the joint statement issued during 
President Nazarbayev's visit to Washington, no progress has 
been made on an agreement to permit U.S.-funded NGOs to 
provide training to Kazakhstani political parties, the 
Ambassador said.  Tokayev promised to check on the status of 
interagency approval of the draft memorandum of understanding. 
ASTANA 00000668  003 OF 003 
Demolition of Hare Krishna Homes 
10. (C) The Ambassador noted that the legal status of the 
Hare Krishna commune outside of Almaty had been the subject 
of a protected court battle, and that the Ministry of Justice 
had established a special commission to review the situation 
and propose an equitable resolution.  The U.S. was therefore 
puzzled and disappointed by the local authorities' decision 
to carry out the demolition orders before the special 
commission had issued any recommendations (Ref C).  We were 
also shocked by the harsh way in which the demolitions were 
carried out on less than 24 hours notice, during severe 
winter weather.  Tokayev described the demolitions as 
"cruel," noting that he had taken a question on the incident 
from a CNBC reporter during a press conference in London. 
Tokayev said that while the court's decision was clear, the 
way the demolitions were carried out had raised many 
questions in the government.  Security Council Chairman 
Tazhin, who had also been briefed on the incident while in 
London with Nazarbayev, planned to hold a special Security 
Council session with all law enforcement agencies to instruct 
them "not to be so stupid" in how they handle such cases in 
the future. 
11. (C) In a one-on-one conversation following the main 
meeting, FM Tokayev told the Ambassador that Kazakhstan was 
concerned about China's very aggressive push to invest in a 
wide range of projects.  As a result, Nazarbayev would sign 
only very general framework agreements during his December 
trip to Beijing.  Kazakhstan fears both Chinese economic 
pressure and the potential for large numbers of migrants, 
Tokayev said.  In large projects such as the Ekibastuz power 
plant (Ref D), Tokayev said, Kazakhstan would be more 
comfortable with U.S. than Chinese investors.  (Note: 
Tokayev's comments largely echoed the concerns that Deputy 
Prime Minister Masimov, who like Tokayev is also an expert on 
China, expressed to the Ambassador on November. 18.  End 


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