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Kazakh Report: December 22, 1999


22 December 1999

KAZAKH LEADER MET US PRESIDENT IN WASHINGTON.
RFE/RL special correspondent in Washington reports that the Kazakh leader Nursultan Nazarbayev met U.S. President Bill Clinton in Washington on December 21. After a 40-minute meeting, the Kazakh President held a press conference.

"From the very beginning of our independence contacts between the US and Kazakh officials have been very tight,"-said Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The Kazakh leader stressed cooperation between Kazakhstan and United States in the liquidation of nuclear arsenals left on Kazakh territory after the collapse of the Soviet Union. As one example of cooperation between two countries, Nursultan Nazarbayev pointed out the work done by the Kazakh-American Bilateral Commission.

"The Bilateral commission led by Vice President Gore and me on the Kazakh side has been working. We had our 6th annual meeting yesterday. During this time 70 bilateral agreements were signed - both intergovernmental and interdepartmental. American investments to Kazakhstan have reached $4 billion, and this is about 34 per cent of all foreign investments in Kazakhstan."

Nazarbayev also pointed out that the International Monetary Found approved the economic program by the Kazakh government and will make available $450 million to support economic reforms in Kazakhstan.

The Kazakh President said that during his meetings with the US Vice President Al Gore and President Bill Clinton, they discussed all aspects of bilateral relations. He also mentioned about meetings with the US Trade Secretary Daily, the IMF Director Camdessus, US Energy Secretary Richardson and officials at the US Defense Ministry.

At the end Nazarbayev concluded : "We received total support from the U.S. leadership for the policies and reforms we have been conducting."

Answering a question from RFE/RL�s special correspondent whether Nazarbayev and Clinton discussed events around the Kazakh Parliamentary election held a few months ago, the Kazakh President said that there was not enough time for that.

MOST OF THE RUSSIAN CITIZENS IN KAZAKHSTAN VOTED FOR UNITY BLOC, SAID THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR.
Most of the Russian citizens living in Kazakhstan voted for the Unity bloc, said Russian ambassador to Kazakhstan Valeriyan Nikolayenko at a press conference held in Almaty on 21 December. According to him, the 2,000 Russian citizens who took part in the elections gave their votes for this centrist bloc, while about 700 Russian citizens voted for Zhirinovski's bloc. There are about 7,000 Russian citizens living in Kazakhstan,

COMMUNISTS IN KAZAKHSTAN MARKED 120 YEAR BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF STALIN.
RFE/RL correspondents in Almaty report that elderly Bolsheviks in Kazakhstan marked the 120 year anniversary of Josef Stalin. They said that the country needs a man like him in order to make life better.

KAZHEGELDIN'S FORMER BODYGUARDS BEING ACCUSED OF POSSESSING ILLEGAL WEAPONS.
Akezhan Kazhegeldin's two former bodyguards - former officers of the National Security Committee Colonel Pyotr Afanasenko and Major Serikzhan Ibrayev - are being accused of possessing illegal weapons. They can face prison terms from three to eight years, RFE/RL correspondents in Almaty report. According to the Interior Affairs Ministry - Almaty City Department Chief General Kalmuhamed Kasymov - the weapons were found at Afanasekno's home and in Ibrayev's car. Two rifles which used to belong to former Prime Minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin were found too. An Interior Affairs Ministry official said that in case the weapons that used to belong to Kazhegeldin are illegal, the former Prime Minister could face charges as well.

FORMER KGB OFFICER SENTENCED TO TEN YEARS IN PRISON FOR ILLEGAL DRUG TRAFFICKING.
RFE/RL correspondents in Almaty report that former KGB officer Mansur Sattorov was sentenced to ten years in prison on December 20. The former Security Service officer was detained with 10 kilos of heroin at Almaty Airport on March 18.

FORMER AFGHAN VETERANS ASK DEFENSE MINISTRY TO FORM SPECIAL UNIT IN ORDER TO PROTECT SOUTHERN BORDERS.
Days ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan veterans of this war asked the Kazakh Defense Ministry to form special unit from veterans of the Afghan War in order to protect the southern borders from Islamic militants in Tajikistan. Veterans of the Afghan War say that after the last events in neighboring Kyrgyzstan, the Kazakh Defense Ministry needs this kind of special unit. RFE/RL correspondents in Almaty report that the Chief of Stfff at the Kazakh Defense Ministry, General Bakytzhan Yertayev is backing this plan.

MEDICAL PERSONAL OF ALMATY REGIONAL HOSPITAL ARE ON STRIKE.
Medical personnel of the Almaty Oblast Clinic Hospital are on strike. They demand their overdue salaries for the last five months. They urged the government to pay them overdue salaries until December 25. If not, they promise to block the road Almaty-Talghar-Qulja and cut communications in the eastern part of Almaty oblast.

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