|Updated: 19-Dec-2006||NATO Update|
Kazakh President discusses regional stability at NATO
Increasing stability in Central Asia was on the agenda during the visit of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev to NATO Headquarters on 4 December.
President Nazarbayev met with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer to discuss ways of further increasing cooperation with the Alliance, leading to increased stability in the region.
Support for Afghanistan
President Nazarbayev expressed strong support for the Alliance’s role in neighbouring Afghanistan.
“Kazakhstan, from the very first day, has supported the war against terrorism in Afghanistan,” he said, “Kazakhstan wants to be part of the economic rehabilitation of Afghanistan.”
Security through cooperation
NATO and Kazakhstan already have over ten years of practical cooperation through the Alliance’s Partnership for Peace programme.
Kazakhstan is also one of five Partner countries that has an Individual Partnership Action Plan with NATO.
“President Nazarbayev is here as a president of a nation which is an important partner for NATO,” said the Secretary General, “be it in the sphere of interoperability, be it in the sphere of defence cooperation, be it in the sphere of civil emergency (planning).”
Areas for further practical cooperation include increasing levels of interoperability between NATO and Kazakh forces, training support, and political engagement on issues relating to regional security.
While at NATO Headquarters, President Nazarbayev also commemorated the 15th anniversary of the shutdown of the Semiplalatinsk nuclear test site. Through its Security through Science program, NATO is working closely with Kazakh authorities to address the environmental issues posed by radioactive contamination in Kazakhstan.