08ASTANA1512, KAZAKHSTAN — CODEL REID MEETS WITH PM MASIMOV,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08ASTANA1512 2008-08-14 08:58 2011-08-30 01:44 SECRET Embassy Astana

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTA #1512 2270858
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 140858Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3018
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0606
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1935

S E C R E T ASTANA 001512 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/14/2018 
TAGS: PREL OVIP PARM PHUM ETRD OREP KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN -- CODEL REID MEETS WITH PM MASIMOV, 
OPPOSITION AND CIVIL SOCIETY 
 
Classified By: Ambassador J. Ordway, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
1. (C) CODEL Reid met with Kazakhstan's Prime Minister 
Masimov on August 7 to discuss several aspects of the U.S. - 
Kazakhstan relationship. Masimov opened the meeting by 
highlighting Kazakhstan's progress on democratic and economic 
liberalization since independence.  He thanked U.S. companies 
for their investments and contributions to Kazakhstan's rapid 
economic growth.  Noting the dampening effect of the global 
financial crisis, Masimov said that proposed changes to the 
tax code (which would lower corporate taxes and taxes on 
extractive industries) should help reinvigorate the economy. 
On food security in the region, Masimov stressed that 
Kazakhstan is ready to help its neighbors in the event last 
winter's shortages repeat themselves.  Turning to democratic 
reform, Masimov said that President Nazarbayev's policy has 
always been "economics first, politics second," and 
Kazakhstan has finally reached the level of economic 
development where democratic reform was not only possible, 
but necessary. 
 
2.  (S)  Sen. Reid commended Kazakhstan's progress and 
expressed hope of continuing close cooperation on such issues 
as the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program. 
 Sen. Bingaman said that Kazakhstan could play an important 
role in encouraging Iran to disarm.  Masimov agreed by saying 
that as a mostly-Muslim state with a strong non-proliferation 
record, Kazakhstan could serve as an example to Iran and 
added that the GOK stands ready to work closely with the 
international community on Iran's disarmament.  Sen. Nelson 
encouraged the GOK to continue close cooperation on 
intelligence matters. Turning the conversation to 
Afghanistan, Sen. Isakson expressed hope that Kazakhstan will 
join the U.S. and Afghanistan and support OSCE involvement in 
securing Afghanistan's northern border.  Masimov said the GOK 
was not opposed to the initiative, adding that he will visit 
Afghanistan in September and would welcome consultations with 
the Embassy before the trip.  In closing, Sen. Menendez said 
he hoped Kazakhstan's rapid economic liberalization will be 
closely followed by political reform, to which Masimov 
jokingly replied that NDI and IRI will not rest until it 
does. 
 
3.  (C)  Separately, the Senators met with the leaders of 
opposition parties and civil society, who told the delegation 
that democratic reform was severely lagging in the country. 
Not surprisingly, the opposition party leaders derided 
President Nazarbayev and his ruling Nur Otan party for 
effectively blocking all competition on the political scene. 
NGO representatives shared the view that progress on 
political liberalization and human rights was not only 
stalled but in some instances was moving backwards, like with 
the pending religion legislation.  Sen. Reid thanked the 
participants for their honest views and underlined that 
Kazakhstan's democratic reform remained a top priority for 
the United States. 
 
4.  (U)  CODEL Reid did not clear this cable. 
ORDWAY

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