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Kazakh Report: March 14, 2002


14 March 2002

KAZAKH PRESIDENT SIGNS DECREE ON DUTIES OF FOREIGN MINSTER AND SECRETARY OF STATE
The presidential press service reported on 14 March that President Nursultan Nazarbayev has issued a decree on the duties and responsibilities of Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister and State Secretary. On January 29, just one day after Qasymzhomart Toqayev resigned as prime minister, he was appointed as Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister and State Secretary, replacing Erlan Idrisov, who then was appointed as Deputy Foreign Minister, and Abish Kekilbayev (State Secretary), who became a member of the Senate (the upper chamber of Kazakhstan's Parliament).

In other words, starting January 29 this year, the positions of Foreign Minister and State Secretary were merged, but the duties of the Foreign Minister and Secretary of State were defined only on 14 March. According to the Decree, the State Secretary and Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan are appointed by the president.

SPECIAL EDUCATION COURSES FOR KAZAKH REPATRIATES TO START IN SOUTH KAZAKHSTAN
The chief of South Kazakhstan Oblast's Education Department, Nurziya Artyqalina, told RFE/RL on 14 March that in the very near future special courses will begin for Kazakh reptatriates residing in the region. The main courses will be held at a secondary school in the town of Shymkent. Artyqalina said the majority of ethnic Kazakhs repatriated from Afghanistan and Iran are illiterate.

RENOVATION OF NATURAL GAS SUPPLY SYSTEM IN QYZYL-ORDA IS MAJOR PRIORITY: KAZAKH PREMIER
Kazakh Premier Imanghaliy Tasmaghambetov visited Kazakhstan's southern Qyzyl-Orda Oblast on March 13. He said at a meeting with the local leadership that one of the Kazakh cabinet's main priorities is the complete renovation of the natural gas supply system in the town of Qyzyl-Orda. He said the government will spend over $11 million on that project this year. The renovation will cost a total of $24 million.

'QAZAQSTAN TEMIRZHOLY' OPENS NEW RAILWAY ROUTE CONNECTION ALMATY WITH TEHERAN
On March 14, a new railway route went into operation connecting Almaty and Teheran. Trains will run via Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Turkmenabad (Turkmenistan), and Sirakhs (Iran). The route is over 3,300 kilometers long and the train will cover that distance in 68 hours. A single ticket from Almaty to Tehran will cost 11,360 Tenges ($75), and from Almaty to Meshed 9,100 Tenges.

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