24 August 1999
KAZAKH FOREIGN MINISTER HELD PRESS CONFERENCE FOR FOREIGN DIPLOMATS.
According to RFE/RL correspondents' reports, Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister Qasymzhomart Toqayev held a meeting with foreign diplomats in Almaty, the former capital, on August 23. Toqayev told foreign diplomats and journalists that one of the main topics to be discussed at the summit of "Shanghai Five", scheduled for August 24 in Bishkek, would be joint measures against Islamic radicalism and fundamentalism. "As you all know," said Toqayev, "Kazakhstan is a secular state, that is why we will never support the wings of Islamic teaching calling for radicalism and extremism." Kyrgyzstan's President Asqar Aqayev is hosting his counterparts from China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Tajikistan in the Kyrgyz capital on August 24.
The Foreign Minister also said that the sale by Kazakhstan of MIG�21 military jets to North Korea is being investigated, adding that some top officials of Kazakhstan already have been sacked from their posts, and that he cannot give any more details on the case until the investigations are over.
Toqaev said the reasons for the recent closure of Australia's Embassy in Kazakhstan were financial not political. The Minister also briefly described his recent trip to India , saying that the official visit to New Deli was fruitful.
On August 24, Toqaev met with South Korea's Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Lee Yen Minh, in Astana to discuss bilateral economic cooperation and South Korean investments in Kazakhstan.
PRESIDENT OF KAZAKHOIL SACKED.
President Nursultan Nazarbaev issued a decree on 23 August sacking Nurlan Qapparov as President of KazakhOil State Company. No reasons were given. Qapparov's deputy Uzaqbay Qarabalin was appointed Acting President of KazakhOil. KazakhOil is known as a monopolist company controlling the oil production sector of the country.
KAZAKH PRESIDENT MET KOREAN AND JAPANESE OFFICIALS IN ASTANA.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev met with Keidzo Takemi - State Secretary of Japan's Foreign Ministry on August 23 in Astana. The ecological situation in the former Soviet nuclear test field near Semey (Semipalatinsk, Eastern Kazakhstan Oblast) was discussed at the meeting. The Japanese government is participating in special programs on the liquidation of the consequences of those nuclear tests.
The same day, Kazakh President met with South Korea's ambassador Lee Yen Minh to discuss the further development of trade and economic ties. There were neither official, nor unofficial eports on whether the MiG sale to North Korea was also discussed.