07ASTANA2819, KAZAKHSTAN: MFA ADVISOR DISCUSSES SHANGHAI

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2819 2007-10-15 12:15 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9553
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHTA #2819/01 2881215
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 151215Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0912
INFO RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 7248
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0014
RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK 8179
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 2275
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0358
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1502
RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT 8070

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 002819 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
SCA/CEN FOR M. O'MARA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN:  MFA ADVISOR DISCUSSES SHANGHAI 
COOPERATION ORGANIZATION 
 
1. (SBU)  Summary: In a discussion with Poloff, Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs Advisor for the Shanghai Cooperation 
Organization (SCO) Yerlan Shamishev stated that the SCO has a 
broad mandate and serves an important purpose because it 
solidifies links between Central Asian member states and 
Russia and China.  He admitted, however, that the SCO's 
concrete accomplishments are few.  The SCO is interested in 
Afghanistan, he said, but has yet to turn interest into 
action.  Kazakhstan is not interested in a more developed 
role in the SCO for Iran.   End Summary. 
 
2, (SBU)  On October 8, Poloff met with Yerlan Shamishev, 
Ministry Foreign Affairs Advisor for the Shanghai Cooperation 
Organization (SCO),to discuss Kazakhstan's view of the SCO. 
When asked to describe the aims of the SCO, Shamishev 
responded that the SCO has a broad mandate.  Security 
cooperation has been the most successful component of the 
SCO, he said, but fostering further economic cooperation is 
now an increasingly important goal for the SCO.  Humanitarian 
cooperation is also an element.  The SCO does not wish to be 
confrontational, he added. 
 
3. (SBU) Poloff asked Shamishev to describe major 
accomplishments of the SCO.  Shamishev answered that the 
greatest accomplishment of the SCO has been to "uphold a 
spirit of political unity" and to build trust between the 
four Central Asian member states and China and Russia.  He 
confessed, however, that on "concrete outputs" it is "hard to 
find good success stories." 
 
4. (SBU)  Shamishev also admitted that trying to strengthen 
economic cooperation through the SCO has proven difficult. 
Uzbekistan is reluctant to open its borders and has not been 
particularly cooperative, he said.  Generally, according to 
Shamishev, Uzbekistan is comfortable discussing security 
issues and is disinclined to address other issues. 
Kyrgyzstan and Tadjikstan, in contrast, are more willing to 
cooperate economically but have less potential for 
investment. 
 
5. (SBU)  Poloff asked if Kazakhstan has any concerns of a 
possible power disbalance in the SCO. Shamishev responded 
that to some extent two groups have developed in the SCO, 
with one group comprised of Kazakhstan, China, and Russia 
because of their size and relative economic might.  He noted 
that these three countries are also the big contributors to 
SCO, with Russia and China each paying 24% and Kazakhstan 
21%.  Nevertheless, he insisted that the bigger countries are 
not in a position to dominate the smaller ones, because each 
country has a veto. 
 
6. (SBU)  Turning to Iran, Shamishev said that Kazakhstan 
will not seek to increase its cooperation with Iran through 
the SCO.  Iran's nuclear ambitions, he stated, make it very 
difficult to implement programs and undermine endeavors to 
develop cooperation on issues like an energy pipeline.  "We 
don't want to escalate the situation between Iran and the 
international community," said Shamishev. 
 
7. (SBU) Shamishev said that achieving peace and stability in 
Afghanistan is a goal for the SCO.  A SCO - Afghanistan 
contact group exists, focused on confidence-building 
measures.  "All is on paper at this point," he said, "nothing 
concrete has yet been achieved."  Kazakhstan has achieved 
more progress with Afghanistan bilaterally than through the 
SCO, he remarked.  He also underlined that Kazakhstan 
understands that any negative spillover from Afghanistan into 
Uzbekistan and Tadjikstan will also effect Kazakhstan. 
 
8. (SBU)  Poloff asked Shamishev whether Kazakhstan has been 
able to use the SCO as a venue to discuss pressing problems 
of water use in the region.  Shamishev answered that 
Kazakhstan has tried to raise the issue, but without success 
because of opposition from China and Uzbekistan. 
 
9. (SBU) Comment: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization has 
thus far proven to be more of a talking-shop than an 
action-driven organization. Nevertheless, the role of the SCO 
in the region should not be downplayed.  The SCO provides 
another opportunity for regional leaders with similar 
mindsets on many issues to forge personal links (Presidents 
Putin and Nazarbayev have met more than fifteen times in the 
 
ASTANA 00002819  002 OF 002 
 
 
last two years) and to reinforce their shared thinking.  End 
Summary 
MILAS

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