08ASTANA4, PRESIDENTIAL VISIT SIGNALS HEIGHTENED TURKISH

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08ASTANA4 2008-01-03 13:40 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO3953
RR RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0004 0031340
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 031340Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1439
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0350
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 2116

UNCLAS ASTANA 000004 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN (M. O'MARA) 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL KZ
SUBJECT: PRESIDENTIAL VISIT SIGNALS HEIGHTENED TURKISH 
FOCUS ON KAZAKHSTAN 
 
 
1.(SBU) Summary: President Abdullah Gul of Turkey met with 
President Nazarbayev and representatives of Kazakhstan's 
business community during his December 13-14 trip to Astana. 
Gul encouraged Kazakhstan's participation in Turkey's 
pipeline projects and discussed investment opportunities. 
Gul also asked President Nazarbayev for assistance in drawing 
Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan into a dialogue among 
Turkic-language countries.  A Turkish diplomat told Poloff 
that Gul's visit is part of Turkey's effort to increase its 
focus on Kazakhstan and Central Asia.  End Summary 
 
2. (SBU)  President Abdullah Gul of Turkey, accompanied by 
the country's Ministers of Defense and Energy and a large 
commercial delegation, travelled to Kazakhstan for meetings 
in Astana on December 13-14. Gul met with President 
Nazarbayev and sought support for Turkey's pipeline projects, 
including Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Samsun-Ceyhan. Orhan Isik, 
the Head of Turkey's Liaison Office in Astana, told Poloff 
that Nazarbayev expressed a continued interest in a 
trans-Caspian pipeline.  Nazarbayev added, however, that 
Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan must settle their differences. 
According to Isik, Nazarbayev also reaffirmed that Kazakhstan 
intends to build a refinery in Ceyhan.  Gul and Nazarbayev 
discussed the Kars - Tbilisi - Ahaklalaki railroad, with 
Nazarbayev promising to commit cargo to the railroad. 
 
3. (SBU) Isik described Nazarbayev as "pro-Turkey" with 
strong links to the country's leadership.  According to Isik, 
Nazarbayev owns a mansion in Anataliya which he travels to 
four to five times a year.  Nazarbayev was the first head of 
state to visit President Gul after his election, which is 
well-remembered by Gul because of the controversy surrounding 
his election, said Isik. 
 
4.  (SBU)  The Turkish government has faced domestic 
criticism for a failure to engage in Central Asia, said Isik, 
and is now looking to increase its involvement in the region. 
 A main purpose of Gul's trip, therefore, was to demonstrate 
to Kazakhstan Turkey's intent to strengthen bilateral 
relations.  Turkey also believes that Kazakhstan, and 
Nazarbayev, can help to establish a dialogue among 
Turkic-language countries.  Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have 
been disinclined to participate in gatherings of Turkic 
countries, said Isik.  Turkey would like Kazakhstan's 
assistance in ensuring that the two countries participate in 
the next meeting of Turkic countries, scheduled for 
Azerbaijan in 2008.  Nazarbayev promised to engage 
Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and also expressed interest in 
Turkey's idea to create a secretariat in Ankara for 
Turkic-language countries. 
ORDWAY

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