09ASTANA601, KAZAKHSTAN: STATE SECRETARY SAUDABAYEV CONFIRMS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA601 2009-04-07 12:35 2011-08-30 01:44 SECRET Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1550
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNP RUEHPW
RUEHROV
DE RUEHTA #0601/01 0971235
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 071235Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5112
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1463
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0841
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0528
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1544
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1026
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0939
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 0066
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2257
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2587

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000601 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, NEA/IR, ISN, T 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/07/2034 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM MARR KNNP IAEA AF IR KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN:  STATE SECRETARY SAUDABAYEV CONFIRMS 
OFFER TO HOST NUCLEAR FUEL BANK 
 
REF: ASTANA 0557 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland, Reasons 1.4 (B) and (D) 
 
1. (U) This is an action request.  Please see para 9. 
 
2. (S) SUMMARY:  State Secretary Kanat Saudabayev told the 
Ambassador on April 7 that Kazakhstan is willing to host the 
international nuclear fuel bank, just as President Nazarbayev 
had announced to the press on April 6.  He said that the ball 
is now in the IAEA's court to review the offer and approach 
Kazakhstan to discuss further details, and that Kazakhstan 
also seeks Washington's reaction.  Saudabayev also told the 
Ambassador that Nazarbayev had pressed Iranian President 
Ahmadinejad to pursue only peaceful nuclear energy and 
cooperate with the IAEA and international community during 
their April 6 meeting in Astana.  Saudabayev said Kazakhstan 
would be interested in establishing a high-level commission 
for our bilateral relationship, similar to the 
Gore-Nazarbayev commission from the Clinton Administration. 
Regarding President Nazarbayev's March 30 comment to the 
Ambassador that Kazakhstan could provide a "logistical base" 
for Afghanistan (reftel), Saudabayev seemed not well-briefed 
on the issue and simply responded that Kazakhstan is willing 
to be a transit point for goods for Afghanistan.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
OFFER TO HOST NUCLEAR FUEL BANK 
 
3. (C) State Secretary Kanat Saudabayev called in the 
Ambassador on April 7 to discuss Kazakhstan's interest in 
hosting the international nuclear fuel bank proposed by the 
Nuclear Threat Initiative.  He explained that President 
Nazarbayev's April 6 public offer for Kazakhstan to host the 
fuel bank -- which he made in Astana during a joint press 
conference with Iranian President Ahmadinejad, following a 
bilateral meeting -- constituted Kazakhstan's official 
announcement on the issue.  He noted that Ahmadinejad 
supported Nazarbayev's proposal.  (NOTE:  Interfax quoted 
Nazarbayev as follows:  "If a nuclear fuel bank for nuclear 
energy were established, Kazakhstan would consider the 
possibility of having it located here, in a country which has 
signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and voluntarily 
gave up nuclear weapons."  In response, Ahmadinejad said, 
"The proposal of the President of Kazakhstan regarding the 
establishment of a nuclear fuel bank is good"; Ahmedinejad 
added, "Any country that has on its territory uranium 
reserves and enrichment technology can turn itself into a 
nuclear fuel bank."  END NOTE.) 
 
4. (C) Saudabayev said that Nazarbayev's offer was carefully 
aimed at showing support for President Obama's 
non-proliferation agenda and that hosting the fuel bank would 
enable Kazakhstan to further burnish its non-proliferation 
credentials.  The ball is now in the IAEA's court to consider 
Kazakhstan's proposal and initiate expert talks, he 
explained.  Saudabayev asked the Ambassador to obtain 
Washington's official reaction.  He added that Nazarbayev 
supports Obama's proposal for a non-proliferation summit, and 
would be very willing to participate in it. 
 
5. (C) COMMENT:  Saudabayev appeared surprised by the April 5 
Wall Street Journal article which reported, relying on an 
"unnamed White House source," that Kazakhstan had previously 
made a formal offer to the White House to host the fuel bank. 
 Following the meeting, Roman Vasilenko, Saudabayev's chief 
of staff, explained to the Ambassador that Nazarbayev's 
announcement was occasioned not by the Ahmedinejad visit, but 
rather by the April 1 Obama-Medvedev joint statement and 
President Obama's April 5 speech on non-proliferation in 
Prague.  Vasilenko said that the government is discussing 
internally the issue of coming up with any funding necessary 
to serve as host.  END COMMENT. 
 
ASTANA 00000601  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
NAZARBAYEV PRESSES AHMADINEJAD ON NUCLEAR PROGRAM 
 
6. (S) Saudabayev told the Ambassador that during their April 
6 meeting, Nazabayev had stressed to Ahmadinejad that Iran 
should give up any ambitions to develop nuclear weapons, 
pursue only peaceful nuclear energy, and cooperate with the 
IAEA and international community.  In return, Iran will 
benefit economically, gaining new investment and access to 
technology.  Nazarbayev told Ahmadinejad that Obama
is open 
to dialogue -- which is a big step from the U.S. side -- and 
is thus giving Iran an opportunity which it should take 
advantage of.  Ahmadinejad purportedly said in response that 
Iran is suffering from the current situation, and if it had 
better relations with the United States, it would have more 
economic opportunities. 
 
INTEREST IN REVIVING HIGH-LEVEL BILATERAL COMMISSION 
 
7. (C) Saudabayev recalled that during the Clinton 
administration, there was a Gore-Nazarbayev commission which 
provided high-level oversight for the U.S.-Kazakhstan 
relationship.  He said Kazakhstan would be interested in 
reestablishing a similar body.  The Ambassador asked whether 
the Kazakhstanis would be willing to initiate bilateral 
consultations to discuss Kazakhstan's agenda for its 2010 
OSCE chairmanship.  Saudabayev responded that Kazakhstan 
would be interested, and added that Foreign Minister Tazhin's 
meetings in Washington in early May would constitute the 
first consultations. 
 
TRANSIT POINT FOR AFGHAN GOODS 
 
8. (C) The Ambassador asked Saudabayev to clarify a remark 
from his March 30 meeting with Nazarbayev, when Nazarbayev 
said that Kazakhstan could provide a "logistical base" for 
Afghanistan (reftel).  Saudabayev explained that Kazakhstan 
is simply interested in becoming a transit point for goods 
flowing to Afghanistan, which will assist Afghanistan 
economically, and added that he knew nothing further. 
(COMMENT:  We have seen from other sources that there might 
possibly be more toQzarbayev's cryptic remark about a 
"logistical base." Qcould be that Saudabayev is simply notQbriefed on this issue.  END COMMENT.) 
 
9.  (C) ACTION REQUEST:  Please provide an official response 
we can pass to Saudabayev to President Nazarbayev's offer to 
host a low-enriched uranium nuclear fuel bank. 
HOAGLAND

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