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Kazakh Report: December 18, 2001


18 December 2001

KAZAKH PRESIDENT LEAVES FOR U.S.
Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev left for the United States late on 17 December. His first destination in the U.S. is Houston, Texas, where he is scheduled to hold talks with former President George Bush. Later this week President Nazarbayev will go to New York in order to visit the runs of the World Trade Center. On 21 December President Nazarbayev will start the official part of his trip during which he is expected to hold talks with President George W. Bush.

COMMITTEE ON PROTECTION OF BAURZHAN MOMYSH-ULY'S DIGNITY HELD PRESS CONFERENCE.
The Committee for the Protection of Baurzhan Momysh-Uly's Dignity and Honor held press conference on 18 December. The committee was established earlier this month by Momysh-Uly's friends and relatives after an article was published in the newspaper "Qazaq Adebiyeti."

Baurzhan Momysh-Uly is one of the prominent Soviet military leaders, who was a key figures during the Soviet Army's defense of Moscow against German forces in 1941. Wellknown Kazakh politician and former Soviet dissident Khasen Qozhakhmet wrote in his article that Baurzhan Momysh-Uly was one of the supporters of the Soviet Empire and does not deserve the respect of future generations of Kazakhstan.

Members of the committee to protect Momysh-Uly said on 18 December that it is unacceptable to reject one of the "glorious pages in Kazakh history" just because Kazakhstan was a part of the Soviet Empire at that time. They argued that the memory of other prominent Kazakhs, such as Dinmukhammed Kunayev, should also be revered. Kunayev was First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan for many years. He died in disgrace in 1993.

MINISTER OF CULTURE ANNOUNCES PAY INCREASE
Kazakhstan's Minister of Culture Mukhtar Qulmukhammed told journalists on 18 December that starting January 2002, cultural workers will be paid 20-30 per cent more, which will mean that the average salary of Kazakhstan's artists and actors will be the highest for that sector in any post-Soviet state. He also said that a new national circus and national theater will open in Astana next year.

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