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Kazakhstan: U.S.-Kazakh Joint Committee In Session

By Merkhat Sharipzhan

Almaty, 19 November 1996 (RFE/RL) - A two-day session of the U.S.-Kazakhstan Joint Committee opened in Almaty today. This is the third session of the Joint Committee, which was founded two years ago by Presidents Bill Clinton and Nursultant Nazarbayev.

The main purpose of the Joint Committee is to widen bilateral cooperation.

Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry tells RFE/RL that U.S. Vice President Albert Gore sent a letter to Nazarbayev before the opening of the Committee's third session.

Topics under discussions include: politics and security, bilateral economic and trade issues; ecology, science and technology programs and conversion of defense industries.

The U.S. delegation includes Ambassador James Collins, the State Department's advisor on the CIS. Collins -- along with the U.S. special envoy to negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, Joseph Pressel -- just completed a tour of the Caucasus.

The Kazakh side at the Joint Committee meeting is headed by Foreign Minister Qasymjomart Toqayev.