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Kazakhstan: President Seeks Closer U.S. Ties

Washington, 19 November 1997 (RFE/RL) - President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan says his country wants closer ties with the United States.

He told a trade and investment conference in Washington yesterday that Kazakhstan also wants to build a strong market economy and play a larger role in world affairs.

He is in Washington on an official visit.

Nazarbayev said that before he leaves Washington, he will have signed 14 agreements with the U.S. on security, defense, trade, and oil and gas exploration. He has already met with Vice President Al Gore, Defense Secretary William Cohen and Energy Secretary Federico Pena, and, along with Gore, convened the fourth session of the Kazakhstan-U.S. Joint Commission.

Nazarbayev said Kazakhstan has developed a 30-year strategic plan to integrate itself into the world economy and take its place in the geopolitical arena.