07ASTANA2934, KAZAKHSTANI BUSINESSMAN AGAIN REQUESTS USG HELP

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2934 2007-10-24 13:54 2011-08-30 01:44 SECRET Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO8065
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHTA #2934 2971354
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 241354Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1019
INFO RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 7258
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0019
RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK 8197
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 2291
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 2140
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0363
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0480
RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT 8083

S E C R E T ASTANA 002934 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/24/2037 
TAGS: AF CH ECON EINV ELTN EMIN ETRD IR KZ PGOV
PK, PREL, RS, TI, UZ 
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTANI BUSINESSMAN AGAIN REQUESTS USG HELP 
WITH BID FOR AFGHAN MINE 
 
REF: A. ASTANA 2344 
 
     B. ASTANA 2388 
 
Classified By: AMB. ORDWAY FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D) 
 
 1. (S) Rakhat Kereitbayev (General Director of KazInvest, 
Chairman of the Board of Kanimansur, and Advisor to Kazyna 
Chairman Kelimbetov) updated Econoff on October 14 and 24 on 
the latest status of the Kazakhstani bid for Afghanistan's 
AYNAK mine (Ref A and B).  Zia Massoud, Afghanistan's 1st 
Vice President is, according to Kereitbayev, still the 
leading Afghan Government (GOA) proponent of the Kazakhstani 
bid.  Kereitbayev stated that there is tension between 
Massoud and President Karzai, who remains on the sidelines, 
partly due to his fear of an eruption of a scandal involving 
his brother.  Karzai's brother, Kereitbayev claimed, is a 
drug baron who keeps his money in the Bank of China and is 
thus susceptible to pressure by the Chinese.  On October 24 
Kereitbayev told Econoff that he was somewhat heartened by 
Karzai's recent interview to the BBC in which he spoke 
favorably of the Kazakhstani bid. 
 
2. (S) According to Kereitbayev, the Chinese bid for the 
AYNAK mine was largely driven by corruption (ref A), and 
China has now seen its chances evaporate.  However, 
Kereitbayev stated that the Chinese are still pursuing the 
AYNAK mine using a Canadian company as a front.  Although he 
does not know the exact breakdown of the Canadian/Chinese 
deal, Kereitbayev said that the Canadian bid is "largely 
Chinese." 
 
3. (S) Kereitbayev reiterated that the Kazakhstanis' plan to 
build a North-South railroad in Afghanistan is contingent on 
winning the bid for the AYNAK mine (ref A).  He stated that 
the Kazakhstanis would do a "50/50" deal with the Afghans on 
the railroad and secure funding from the World Bank, the 
European Development Bank and, possibly, the Development Bank 
of Kazakhstan.  He added that Kazakhstan is highly (and 
uniquely) capable of building a north-south railroad.  Such a 
project, Kereitbayev explained, would require a lot of steel, 
which the Kazakhstanis could obtain from Russia and Ukraine. 
He noted that the Chinese would have no interest in a 
north-south railroad, since they would take AYNAK's copper to 
China or a Chinese-owned processing plant in Pakistan. 
 
4. (S) Kereitbayev continued that the situation in 
Afghanistan remains precarious due to the drug trade and 
uncertainty about the longevity of the foreign forces' 
presence.   He was emphatic that Kazakhs are uniquely 
positioned to operate in Afghanistan even under challenging 
circumstances.  To Afghans, he said, "we are Muslims, and we 
know how to play the part," adding that the Afghans are 
suspicious of the Chinese and resent some of the things they 
tend to bring to Afghanistan, such as brothels and gambling 
joints.   Kereitbayev noted that his firm has a 
representative in Kabul, who is a Moscow-educated Kazakhstani 
citizen of Tajik descent.  This person, Kereitbayev added, is 
a Farsi speaker, enjoys Afghans' trust and used to import 
Kazakhstani wheat into Afghanistan even back in the Taliban 
days. 
 
5. (C) The picture painted by Kereitbayev contrasts somewhat 
with the one presented on October 10 by Kazakhstan's State 
Secretary Saudabayev to Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense 
 
SIPDIS 
Debra Cagan and the DCM.  In that conversation Saudabayev 
stated the Afghans have not been particularly favorable to 
the Kazakhstani investors. 
 
6. (S) Kereitbayev told Econoff on October 24 that he expects 
the GOA's decision on the AYNAK mine to materialize soon and 
requested USG assistance with promoting the Kazakhstani bid 
over the Chinese one (masquerading as Canadian). 
Ordway

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