5 February 2002
FOREIGN MINISTERS OF CENTRAL ASIAN STATES GATHER IN BISHKEK
RFE/RL correspondents quote the Kazakh Foreign Ministry press service as reporting that the foreign ministers of four Central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) met in Bishkek on February 5. Kazakhstan is represented by First Deputy Foreign Minister Erlan Idrisov. The main issue to be discussed is the re-naming of the Central Asian Economic Union into Central Asian Cooperation Community. Regional security in Central Asia reportedly also figures on the agenda.
KAZAKH FOREIGN MINISTER HOLDS TALKS WITH U.S. OFFICIALS.
According to the Kazakh Foreign Ministry press service, Foreign Minister Qasymzhomart Toqayev held talks with U.S. Vice President Richard Cheney, State Secretary Collin Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, in New York late on 4 February. Toqayev is in New York to participate in the World Economic Forum's work. The sides discussed U.S. - Kazakh relations and the agreements signed by the U.S. and Kazakh Presidents in December last year. Also discussed was international terrorism and regional security in Central Asia. The Kazakh Foreign Ministry reports that Condoleezza Rice stressed that Kazkahstan could serve as a good example of a multi-confessional, multiethnic country living in ethnic harmony and stability. Foreign investments in the Kazakh economy and U.S.- Kazakh joint programs in oil and gas production were also discussed.
VETERAN OF PHOSPHORUS MINE IN SHYMKENT WANTS TO STAGE SELF-IMMOLATION
Saulebay Qaiypov, a veteran worker of the Phosphorus producing facility in South Kazakhstan Oblast, has announced his intention to commit self-immolation in Shymkent city's center on February 6 if his overdue payments were not paid off. Qaiypov told RFE/RL that on February 6, Shymkent City court is to make a ruling in his case. If the verdict does not oblige the administration of Phosphorus producing plant to pay off the sum - 400,000 Tenges ($2,600), Qaiypov said he will commit suicide in the center of Shymkent.