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Kazakh Report: January 30, 2002


30 January 2002

NATIONAL ALASH PARTY ADDRESSES KAZAKH GOVERNMENT
The leaders of the National Alash Party held a press conference in Almaty on 30 January at which they said they have sent a list of demands to the Kazakh government. Those demands are: to establish a multi-party government of national reconciliation; to increase usage of the state language (Kazakh) in official bodies; to switch from using the Cyrillic alphabet for writing Kazakh to the Latin alphabet; to hold elections for all regional officials except for oblast governors; to adopt a law on the state border; and to introduce the traditional steppe system of Biys' Court at the raion level (the smallest administrative-territorial unit). The Biy was a judge in traditional nomadic culture of the Kazakhs for centuries.

According to National Alash Party chairman Savetqazy Aqatay, meeting those demands would enable Kazakhstan to solve the political and economic problems the country currently faces.

KAZAKH FOREIGN MINISTER HOLDS TALKS WITH U.S. AMBASSADOR
Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister and State Secretary Qasymzhomart Toqayev met on 30 January with U.S. Ambassador Larry Napper to discuss Kazakhstan's role in the peace-keeping efforts in Afghanistan and the implementation of the U.S.- Kazakh agreements signed in Washington last month by Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev and U.S. President George W. Bush. Under those agreements Kazakhstan will cooperate with the United States in strengthening regional security and stability in Central Asia. Deputy Foreign Minister Erlan Idrisov also took part in the talks. Toqayev, who resigned as prime minister on 28 January, is expected to leave for New York on January 31 to participate in the annual Davos Economic Forum.

Kazakhstan's Defense Minister Mukhtar Altynbayev told the Mazhilis (the lower chamber of the Kazakh Parliament) on 30 January that Kazakh troops will be sent to Afghanistan very soon. He said those troops will be engaged primarily in escorting humanitarian aid convoys and manning check points near Kabul.

Afghan Ambassador to Kazakhstan Azizillah Ruzi told journalists on 30 January that a Kazakh Embassy will be opened in Kabul in the very near future.

17TH SESSION OF TURKSOY SOCIETY HELD IN ASTANA
The International Society Turksoy uniting artists, musicians, singers and actors from the world's Turkic states held its 17th session in Astana on January 30. Azerbaijan's Minister of Culture Polat Bul-bul-Ogly told journalists that Kazakhstan's President Nazarbayev has always supported the organization. Bul-bul-Ogly expressed the hope that the languages and cultures of the Turkic peoples will enjoy similar support in future .

PLANE MAKES EMERGENCY LANDING AT ALMATY AIRPORT
A TU-154 aircraft belonging to Kazakhstan Airways Company on a flight from Almaty to Tel Aviv had to land unexpectedly at Almaty on January 30 just a few minutes after takeoff due to engine problems. No casualties were reported among the 20 members of the plane's crew and 36 passengers. Investigations are under way.

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