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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 21, 2001

Joint Statement by President Bush and Kazakhstan President
Joint Statement by President George W. Bush and President Nursultan Nazarbayev on the New Kazakhstan-American Relationship

We declare our commitment to strengthen the long-term, strategic partnership and cooperation between our nations, seeking to advance a shared vision of a peaceful, prosperous and sovereign Kazakhstan in the 21st Century that is increasingly integrated into the global economy and the community of democratic nations.  To this end, we will advance our cooperation on counterterrorism and non-proliferation, democratic political and free-market economic reform, and market-based investment and development of energy resources.

These goals further reflect our recognition that the threats of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction endanger the security not only of the United States and Kazakhstan, but of the world at large.  We therefore seek to develop our security cooperation to address these challenges and foster cooperation among Kazakhstan, its Central Asian neighbors, the United States, and our European friends, partners, and allies.  In pursuit of these objectives, we are determined to deepen cooperation bilaterally and within NATO's Partnership for Peace.

We reiterate our intent to cooperate in the war against terrorism to its conclusion and within the framework of the international coalition.  We underscore our support for a broad-based Afghan government at peace internally and with its neighbors.  We also pledge our readiness to cooperate in Afghanistan's reconstruction.

Recognizing that Kazakhstan was the first country to renounce its nuclear-weapons status voluntarily, we reaffirm our mutual commitment to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  Both sides agree on the need for urgent attention to improving the physical protection and accounting of all nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons materials in all possessor states, and to preventing illicit trafficking in these materials.  We pledge to expand our cooperation on these matters under the United States-Kazakhstan Cooperative Threat Reduction Agreement.

In the spirit of partnership, Kazakhstan and the United States intend to strengthen joint activity in ensuring security and stability in Central Asia.  We agree that the expansion of trade and economic ties among the states of Central Asia, and deepening of regional integration in important areas, such as the environment, water resources, and transportation systems are a basis for regional security.   The United States will consider enhancing assistance programs to Kazakhstan to strengthen border security and to increase the defensive capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

We recognize that free market economies and the rule of law provide the most effective means to advance the welfare of our citizens and the stability of our societies.  The United States and Kazakhstan pledge to advance our bilateral economic, trade, and investment relations, including through expanded contacts between the business communities of our countries.  We will strive to further develop an attractive, transparent and predictable investment climate.  Achieving this goal requires removal of legislative and administrative barriers to investment, strengthening respect for contracts and the rule of law, reducing corruption, and enhancing Kazakhstan's strong record on economic reform.

We also intend to cooperate to advance Kazakhstan's integration in the global economy by supporting Kazakhstan's accession to the World Trade Organization on the basis of standard and agreed criteria, and its graduation from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment.

We affirm our desire to strengthen our energy partnership to diversify export options for Kazakhstan's oil and gas and to diversify global energy supplies.  We share the view that a key element of this effort is development of multiple pipelines that will ensure delivery of Caspian energy to world markets, unfettered by monopolies or constrained by geographic chokepoints.  We welcome the recent opening of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) Pipeline and underscore our support for development of the Aktau-Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil export route on commercial terms.  We will also work together to protect the rights of foreign investors and to abide by decisions of courts, particularly of international courts of arbitration.

Recognizing that democracy is a cornerstone of long-term stability, we reaffirm our desire to strengthen democratic institutions and processes, such as independent media, local government, pluralism, and free and fair elections.  We also reiterate our mutual commitments to advance the rule of law and promote freedom of religion and other universal human rights as promoted by the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, of which we are both members.  Finally, we pledge to enhance understanding between the citizens of our two countries by promoting people-to-people exchanges, initiatives of non-governmental organizations, and contacts between business people.

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