07ASTANA3153, UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES SEES POSITIVE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA3153 2007-11-19 12:04 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9896
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHTA #3153 3231204
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 191204Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1207
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0306
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1893

C O N F I D E N T I A L ASTANA 003153 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SCA/CEN FOR M. O'MARA 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/17/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL KZ
SUBJECT: UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES SEES POSITIVE 
STEPS FROM KAZAKHSTAN 
 
Classified By: CLASSIFIED BY POL/ECON CHIEF STEVE FAGIN FOR REASONS 1.4 
(B) and (D) 
 
  1.(SBU) UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres 
and Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister Marat 
Tazhin signed a bilateral cooperation agreement on November 
14 aimed at protecting  the rights of refugees residing in 
Kazakhstan.  The agreement had been under negotiation for the 
past two years.  At a press conference following the signing, 
Guterres said the agreement is "very important not only in 
the framework of cooperation with Kazakhstan, but also in 
interaction with all of Central Asia." 
Guterres added that he was pleased to learn about 
Kazakhstan's efforts to move forward on legislation providing 
asylum rights for refugees.  Guterres reiterated the 
importance of the legislation in his meeting with President 
Nazarbayev. 
 
2. (C)  At a lunch for representatives of local diplomatic 
missions, Guterres praised Kazakhstan's commitment on asylum 
issues. He noted that Kazakhstan has not recently deported 
any refugees.  Guterres said that Kazakhstan wants asylum 
legislation which conforms with international standards,  as 
the GOK recognizes that regional and CIS agreements, such as 
the Minsk agreement, are insufficient. Guterres reported, 
however, that the Kazakhstanis told him that they must be 
"sneaky" in working around these agreements. 
 
3. (C) Kazakhstan's good-will on asylum issues, said 
Guterres, must be placed within the framework of the "unique 
pressures" it faces. Its two large neighbors, Russia and 
China, have a keen interest in Chechen and Uighur asylum 
claims.  Moreover, Guterres stressed, Kazakhstan fears 
instability in Uzbekistan.  UNHCR estimates that 500,000 
Uzbeks will flee Uzbekistan if there is a severe crisis in 
the country. (Note:   German DCM Juergen Keilholz stated that 
Kazakhstani Senate Speaker Tokayev recently told him 
Kazakhstan puts the number at 1,000,000.  End Note.) The 
Chinese are particularly difficult on the Uighur issue, said 
Guterres, often providing information on asylum claims 
gathered from questionable sources. Because of these external 
pressures, Guterres sees Kazakhstan's willingness to finally 
sign a bilateral agreement with UNHCR as a very positive 
sign. 
 
 
Ordway

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