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Kazakh President To Visit Iran, China --> Nursultan Nazarbaev (file photo) (epa) December 14, 2006 -- Kazakh Foreign Minister Qasymzhomart Toqaev said today President Nursultan Nazarbaev would visit Iran at a date that remains to be determined.

Addressing a news briefing in Astana after talks with his Iranian counterpart Manuchehr Mottaki, Toqaev said the upcoming visit would be a milestone in bilateral relations.

Mottaki arrived in Astana earlier today to attend a meeting of the Iran-Kazakhstan joint economic commission.

Kazakh and Iranian officials discussed a wide range of joint economic projects. Among others, they examined the possibility of joining forces in the construction of a petrochemical plant in western Kazakhstan and an oil refinery in northern Iran. They also discussed a joint project to build a port grain terminal on Iran's Caspian Sea coast and Kazakhstan's plans to export grain and animal farm products to Iran.

Meanwhile, China said today it expected to sign more than 10 bilateral agreements when Nazarbaev visits Beijing on December 19-23.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Nazarbaev would meet with President Hu Jintao; Prime Minister Wen Jiabao; and U Bango, the chairman of the standing committee of the National People's Congress.

(Interfax-Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan Today, IRNA, Xinhua, Kazinform)

Iran And China

Chinese President Jiang Zemin visiting the ancient Persian capital of Persepolis in April 2002 (epa)

TWO REEMERGING CULTURES: At a joint RFE/RL-Radio Free Asia briefing at RFE/RL's Washington, D.C., office on November 9, John Calabrese -- scholar in residence at the Middle East Institute who teaches foreign policy at American University -- discussed the growing ties between China and Iran in the context of China's economic boom and its overall relations with the Middle East. He also looked at potential sore points in the two countries' bilateral relations.


Listen to the complete discussion (about 90 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media


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RFE/RL's English-language coverage of China and Iran.


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