Remarks With Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev Before Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Ak Orda Presidential Palace
Astana, Kazakhstan
November 2, 2015

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, thank you, Mr. President. I’m very pleased to be in Kazakhstan again. I appreciated the meeting that we had with President Obama in New York. We discussed a lot of the issues between us, and I know that President Obama is very appreciative for your leadership on the nonproliferation issue, on countering violent extremism, cooperation vis-a-vis Afghanistan and counter-Daesh. So we have a very strong set of security interests.

And as you mentioned, Mr. President, the United States is the largest direct investor in Kazakhstan. And I met this morning with the American Chamber of Commerce representatives here. They were very pleased with the progress that is being made. Your prime minister meets with them once a month; you have put in a very ambitious set of reforms – your hundred steps centered around five different areas – and we really want to work with you very closely in trying to implement those reforms as effectively and as rapidly as possible.

And yesterday in Samarkand, we had a very constructive and effective meeting with the five countries of Central Asia, talking about ways we can coordinate on specific projects and trying to break down some of the barriers that have prevented the region from growing as a region. So Mr. President, thank you very much for welcoming me to Astana. I’m very pleased to be here and I look forward to listening to you and working together with your team on the ways that we can strengthen our relationship even more. Thank you.