Sarah Sewall, U.S. Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights visited Astana


I’d like to briefly explain why I’ve come to Kazakhstan and share a few observations from my meetings this week.

As you may know, two weeks ago Secretary Kerry hosted the so-called “C5+1” meeting between the five Central Asian republics and the United States to reinforce regional cooperation on a broad range of issues, including economic connectivity, the environment and climate change, human rights, and security.

My trip this week has a narrower focus: strengthening our cooperation against terrorism. Kazakhstan has played a leadership role in building global support for a broader preventive approach to violent extremism, including by hosting a summit here in Astana last June.

Two weeks ago in Washington, we announced U.S. support for the Global Counterterrorism Forum to hold a dialogue focused on countering radicalization to violence and the movement of foreign terrorist fighters across Central Asia.

This week I'm here as the top counterterrorism official at the U.S. Department of State to learn about Kazakhstan's efforts to counter violent extremism. I've been impressed by the thoughtfulness and commitment of our Kazakhstani colleagues to address this problem. In meetings this week, I shared our observations about the factors often linked with terrorist radicalization – and more importantly – what we can do to prevent it…

The U.S. welcomes Kazakhstan’s commitment to a broader and more preventive approach to terrorism, and we stand ready to work with partners in and out of government who will join us to turn back this shared threat.