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Astana, Beijing Sign Partnership Agreement --> (RFE/RL) November 16, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev met in Astana today with Liu Qi, the visiting secretary of Beijing's Communist Party Committee.

Liu later held talks with Askar Mamin, the governor of Astana, at which both sides signed a partnership agreement aimed at boosting ties between the Kazakh and Chinese capitals.

Liu was invited to Astana by Otan, Kazakhstan's largest political party and Nazarbaev's power base.

Chinese Economic Forum

Meanwhile, Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister Karim Masimov has arrived in China to participate in a joint economic forum that will open in Beijing on November 17.

Masimov is being accompanied by Kazakhstan's ministers of Finance (Natalya Korzhova), Transportation and Communications (Serik Akhmetov), and Energy (Baktykozha Izmukhambetov).

Masimov is due to hold talks with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

( and; with Kazinform, Kazakhstan Today, Interfax-Kazakhstan, and Xinhua)

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