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Kazakh Passports To Preserve 'Nationality' Designation

ASTANA -- The Kazakh authorities have decided to preserve a space designating nationality, or ethnicity, on citizens' passports when new biometric documents are introduced.

The decision was made by Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov on January 19 after long debates in parliament and among Kazakh citizens.

The government had proposed dropping the nationality designation when the new biometric passports come into effect, but the proposal met with strong objections from many Kazakh citizens.

Over 120 different ethnic groups live in Kazakhstan, and citizens can choose the nationality written in their official Kazakh travel documents.