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Kazakh Report: March 19, 2002


19 March 2002

KAZAKH PREMIER MEETS VISITING TURKISH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER
Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Imanghaliy Tasmaghambetov held talks with visiting Turkish Deputy Premier Devlet Bahceli in Astana on March 19. Journalists were informed at the very last moment that the talks would be held behind closed doors. According to the Cabinet's press service, the two men discussed the Kazakh-Turkish position on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan route for exporting Kazakh oil to Europe, and bilateral trade and economic cooperation. Bahceli also met the same day with Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The Turkish delegation led by Bahceli will remain in Kazakhstan until March 22.

AQ-ZHOL PARTY HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE IN ALMATY
Leaders of the Aq-Zhol (Bright Path) Party held a press conference in Almaty on March 19. The Aq-Zhol Party was established within Kazakhstan's Democratic Choice movement (DVK) in January. DVK in its turn was created by young Kazakh politicians who had been sacked from top positions by President Nazarbayev last November.

Alikhan Baimenov, formerly Minister of Labor and Social Protection and now currently a leading member of the Aq-Zhol Party, told journalists that Aq-Zhol's main goal is to register officially at the Ministry of Justice. He added that creation of branches in different parts of the country is also one of the organization's major priorities.

KAZAKH COMEDIANS SHOULD NOT CRITICIZE KAZAKH LEADER: KAZAKH SATIRE ACTORS
Well known Kazakh satire actors Baurzhan Ibragimov and Qudaybergen Sultanbayev held a press conference in Almaty on 19 March at which they said that it is not permissible to criticize President Nazarbayev in any comedy shows staged by Kazakh actors. They reasoned that Kazakh culture does not allow anyone to laugh at a father -- the head of a Kazakh family. That means, said Ibragimov, that we should not laugh at our leader either. The actors also said that situation currently faced by Kazakh culture in general and by Kazakh actors is very drastic, adding that the Kazakh government should implement special measures in order to improve the situation.

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