President Obama and President Nazarbayev spoke by phone this morning to discuss a wide range of issues in bilateral relations between the United States and Kazakhstan. The two presidents discussed our many cooperative efforts regarding nuclear security, including securing nuclear material from the BN-350 reactor, and reviewed progress on meeting goals that the two presidents established during their bilateral meeting at the Nuclear Security Summit last year. President Obama also thanked President Nazarbayev for his support for our mutual efforts to foster security and prosperity in Afghanistan.
In this call, the two presidents also discussed issues of democracy, affirming that greater political modernization must now accompany Kazakhstan’s economic modernization. The parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan in 2012 offer an important opportunity for greater democratization, a goal President Nazarbayev affirmed in his recent inauguration address.