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Kazakh Report: November 9, 1999


9 November 1999

KAZAKH PREMIER MET JAPANESE BUSINESSMEN.
Correspondents of RFE/RL quote the press service of the Kazakh Premier as reporting that Kazakh PM Qasymzhomart Toqayev met top officials of the Japanese "Itochu" Company - Raiuzo Ogino in Astana on November 8. Just last week Premier Toqayev met leaders of another Japanese company - "Marubeni". The meeting held on Monday was reportedly devoted to the official visit of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev scheduled for December this year. Premier Toqayev said at the meeting with the Japanese businessmen that one of the main priorities of Kazakhstan nowadays was "to develop economic and trade cooperation with such giants of the Japanese economy as Marubeni and Itochu." Also opinions on possible Japanese investments to the Kazakh oil industry were expressed.

Prime Minister Toqayev also met with leaders of an American Company on November 9. Journalists were not allowed to be present at the meeting and the name of the U.S. company was not announced either.

PRESIDENT NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV MET ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN ARCHBISHOP IN ALMATY AND ASTANA ON NOVEMBER 8.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report that Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev held talks with Father Alexis - Archbishop of Orthodox Christians of Almaty and Astana, on November 8. Reverend Alexis told journalists after the meeting that the issue of the construction of a new Orthodox Church and Uspenskiy Cathedral in the new capital of Kazakhstan had been discussed during his talks with the Kazakh leader. According to Father Alexis, the old Orthodox Christian Church in Astana is too small and only 300-350 persons can attend the services. Meanwhile the new church will be able to gather up to 2,000 persons under one roof for prayers and other religious ceremonies. In all, about 100,000 Orthodox Christians, mainly ethnic Russians, are living in the new Kazakh capital - Astana, currently.

KAZAKH PRESIDENT MET SOME FOREIGN AND LOCAL BUSINESSMEN.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev also met leaders of Astana-Finance and Astana-City companies on 8 November. He also held talks with Financial leader of American ICC company - Ekram Miller the same day. The main issue discussed at the talks was about construction works in the new Kazakh capital. Ekram Miller told journalists after the meeting that he had been invited by the Mayor of Astana 6 months ago in order to discuss the project called "Astana-City Center". Now the project is ready and some part of it had started being implemented, said Mr. Miller. According to Mr. Miller, an Austrian financial group called Ilba-Holding had agreed to support the project financially and a number of other internationally recognized companies had expressed their readiness to participate in the project.

RUSSIAN VICE PREMIER KLEBANOV SCHEDULED TO BAIKONUR TOWN.
Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrisov told correspondents of RFE/RL that Russian Vice Premier Iliya Klebanov was expected to the city of Baikonur, Central Kazakhstan on November 17. The Russian Vice Premier will lead the Russian delegation for Kazakh-Russian talks on the consequences of the Russian Proton Rocket explosion over Kazakh territory on October 27. According to the Kazakh Foreign Minister Idrisov, the documents adopted by the two sides after the first explosion of the Proton Rocket, that occurred on July 5 of this year, will be revised. Agreements on joint control over the ecological situation in the area close to the Baikonur space center will be discussed. Also, measures on joint efforts to control security and safety of all the rocket launches and the prognosis of possible accidents will be defined. The explosion of the Russian Proton Rocket over Kazakh territory contaminated the area with a highly toxic substance called hepthil. Erlan Idrisov confirmed the words of the Kazakh Premier Qasymzhomart Toqayev about Kazakhstan's position to demand a very large amount of money from the Russian Federation as compensation for the damage caused. He declined to name the exact sum though, saying that the sum would be defined by experts by November 17. Kazakh Foreign Minister Idrisov also said that interests of all sides should be taken into consideration during the preparations of all commercial launches from Baikonur. Russia is planning to launch 5 commercial satellites from Baikonur by the end of this year. Each launch brings Russians between $70 million and $90 million reportedly. The Kazakh side receives nothing for these commercial launches except ecological problems. The issue is expected to be discussed during Russian-Kazakh talks In Baikonur on November 17.

PRESIDENT NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV MEETS CANADIAN AMBASSADOR TO KAZAKHSTAN.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report that the Canadian Ambassador to Kazakhstan Gerald Skinner met with Kazakh leader Nursultan Nazarbayev on November 9. Further cooperation between the two countries was reportedly taken into consideration during the talks. Ambassador Skinner told journalists after the talks that Canada was also a developing country, as well as Kazakhstan, and that is why it was "very important for the both countries to develop together".

JOURNALISTS NOT ALLOWED TO SESSION OF THE KAZAKH NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL CHAIRED BY THE KAZAKH PRESIDENT.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report that neither they nor another journalist were allowed to the session of the Kazakh National Security Council held on November 9 and chaired by the Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev himself. According to correspondents of RFE/RL, there are no details available yet. Some details about the agenda will hopefully be available later this week.

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT TO VISIT KAZAKHSTAN.
Romanian President Emil Constantinescu will visit Kazakhstan on November 10 and 11. According to information provided by press service of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry to the RFE/RL bureau in Astana, the Romanian President will meet his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev, visit the Parliament building to meet speaker of the Kazakh Senate, Omirbek Baigeldi, and have a meeting with business representatives of both countries. Several agreements are expected to be signed. According to the Foreign Ministry, the Romanian President will have a press conference on November 11.

CONFEREDERATION OF INDEPENDENT TRADE UNIONS OF KAZAKHSTAN SENT OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT NAZARBAYEV AND OSCE MISSION IN KAZAKHSTAN.
The Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Kazakhstan held a meeting in Astana on November 7, correspondents of RFE/RL report. As a result of the meeting, the trade unions sent a letter to President Nursultan Nazarbayev and to the mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Kazakhstan. demanding the resignation of Astana City Mayor Adilbek Zhaqsybekov because of violations of the Law on Elections during recent elections to Kazakh Parliament. They also requested cancellation of the results of the recent elections.

ARCHIVES OF HUMAN RIGHTS BUREAU IN KAZAKHSTAN COMPLETELY DESTROYED BY FIRE.
The archives of the Bureau on Human Rights and Lawfulness in Kazakhstan were completely destroyed by a fire that took place last Thursday at the Russian ALFA bank branch building which the human rights bureau had rented. RFE/RL correspondents in Almaty quote bureau director Evgeniy Zhovtis as saying that human rights archives going back six years were completely destroyed. It is not clear what caused the fire.

76,536 PRISONERS TO BE RELEASED THIS YEAR, ACCORDING TO AMNESTY DECREE SIGNED BY PRESIDENT NAZARBAYEV.
Correspondents of RFE/RL in Almaty quote official data saying that 76,536 prisoners are to be released this year in accordance with an Amnesty decree signed by President Nazarbayev. Among them are 8 veterans of WW II, 157 women 50 years and older, 275 men 55 years and older, 252 disabled persons, 700 young people and 4,000 with tuberculosis.

FOUR CENTRAL ASIAN STATES AND RUSSIA TO HOLD JOINT MILITARY EXERCISES NEXT SPRING.
Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will hold joint military exercises in the spring of 2000, correspondents of RFE/RL in Almaty report , quoting Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev who was speaking in Fergana, Uzbekistan.

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