2016 year Kazakhstan is celebrating its 25th anniversary as an independent nation.
In the interview for the portal ORTCOM.KZ, Ambassador of the United States to Kazakhstan George Krol spoke about the main milestones and achievements in the collaboration between The United States and Kazakhstan over the 25 years of Kazakhstans independence.
«Over the last 25 years, the United States and Kazakhstan have worked together to respond to the most pressing global and regional problems facing the international community. In achieving economic prosperity and expanding trade, in securing the most dangerous weapons and fighting organized crime, in educating the next generation and advancing human knowledge in science and technology, we have been partners. Since Kazakhstan’s independence, the United States has provided approximately $2.7 billion in assistance to Kazakhstan to support our joint efforts. Here are just a few highlights we are proud to look back on:
In the early days of its history, the United States provided technical assistance to Kazakhstan as it closed one of the world’s largest nuclear testing sites, removed over 600 kilograms of highly enriched uranium, and repatriated over 1,400 nuclear weapons to Russia. U.S.-Kazakhstan cooperation in the struggle to reduce the threat of nuclear catastrophe has continued ever since. In 2015, with assistance from the United States and other donors, Kazakhstan signed an agreement to establish a Low Enriched Uranium fuel bank with the International Atomic Energy Association, which will encourage peaceful, legitimate uses of nuclear energy. Kazakhstan played a vital role in the negotiations that led to the historic Iran nuclear agreement and its implementation. Since 2014, Kazakhstan has acted as the host of the International Science and Technology Center, an institution founded in 1994 that supports peaceful research in nuclear and non-proliferation fields.
Kazakhstan and the United States have faced the threat of violent extremism together. In June 2015, Kazakhstan hosted the South and Central Asia Regional Conference on Countering Violent Extremism. The conference served as one in a string of similar events all over the world—including in Washington, DC and at the United Nations—that brought experts, government officials, and civil society together to learn how to respond to the threat of religiously-motivated violence. The Astana conference in particular was a groundbreaking opportunity for regional coordination in Central Asia and beyond. It represented a major contribution to the global effort to prevent violent extremism.
U.S. investments totaling tens of billions of dollars have created thousands of jobs in Kazakhstan and improved the quality of life in both our countries. U.S. companies have been among the top foreign investors in Kazakhstan, primarily in natural resources, manufacturing, and services. American technology and expertise allowed Kazakhstan to develop much more rapidly than would otherwise have been possible, and to do so while protecting the safety of workers and preserving the natural beauty of the environment. The United States also worked closely with the government of Kazakhstan to support Kazakhstan’s entry into the World Trade Organization.
Thousands of Kazakhstanis have travelled to the United States to obtain education or improve their professional qualifications. High school students spent life-changing years in U.S. schools and families through the Future Leaders Exchange program. University students, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels, benefited from programs like Global UGrad and Bolashak to get an American university education—the best in the world. Here in Kazakhstan, hundreds of Americans have worked as English teachers, some through U.S. government programs like Fulbright or Peace Corps. American teachers continue to support Kazakhstan’s vision of becoming a trilingual society.
Finally, the United States and Kazakhstan have worked together to make the entire Central Asian region more connected, more secure, and more prosperous. Through initiatives like the Central Asian Trade Forum, we have helped Kazakhstani businesses find partners in their own region. Secretary of State John Kerry made a historic visit to all five Central Asian countries in 2015, launching a regular dialogue between the United States and the states of Central Asia. That dialogue is enabling joint work to make trade in this region easier, to work on protecting the environment that the Central Asian countries share, and to share best practices on countering violent extremism.
The history of the U.S.-Kazakhstan partnership has shown that international relations are not a zero-sum game. Our relationship is the sum total of the families whose lives have been made richer by trade and safer through joint efforts, the young people who have gained a broader understanding of the world, and the myriad ways the world has become safer through our work. We congratulate the citizens of Kazakhstan on the anniversary of their independence and look forward to many more years of cooperation and friendship», - said George Krol.