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Kazakhstan: U.S.-Kazakh Committee Concludes Meeting

By Merkhat Sharipzhan

Almaty, 20 November 1996 (RFE/RL) - The third meeting of the U.S.-Kazakhstan Joint Committee concluded in Almaty today. The joint committee was set up by Presidents Bill Clinton and Nursultan Nazarbayev two years ago.

Among topics discussed at the meeting was restructuring the Joint Committee to address wider issues related to Washington-Almaty relations. The security issues discussed mostly focused on the conflicts in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Economic discussions focused on the status of the Caspian Sea, and U.S. support for Kazakhstan's efforts to export oil and gas to Western markets.

Also, Kazakhstan will host a NATO "Partnership for Peace" Program exercise next year, and a Central Asian joint battalion will participate.

Joint environmental concerns were also discussed.

It was decided that the next session of the Joint Committee would be held in Washington in the second half of next year.