'Engagement at the Highest Levels': Blinken Meets With Kazhak President in Astana
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Astana on Tuesday, February 28, following a summit with officials from the five Central Asian countries.
In remarks, Tokayev welcomed the top US envoy to the Kazakh capital and said their countries had “built … very good and reliable long-term partnerships in so many strategically important areas like security, energy, trade, and investment.”
“So we are ready to follow up on this cooperation, and once again, I welcome your visit to Astana,” the president said. “And taking this opportunity, I would like to express our appreciation to the continuous and firm support of the United States for our independence, territorial integrity, and sovereignty.”
Blinken, too, highlighted the importance of deepening bilateral ties and to “build on the remarkable work that’s been done now over 30 years to deepen and strengthen our partnership.”
“And I think just in the last couple of years we’ve made further important strides in that direction,” he said. “The relationship is strong; it will only get stronger. We’re committed to that.”
The talks in Astana came as the Kazakh government terminated a trade mission to Russia. Credit: Press Service of the President of Kazakhstan via Storyful
KASSYM-JOMART TOKAYEV: Yeah. Mr. Secretary, I'm very much delighted to welcome you to Astana. I believe that your visit is extremely important in terms of giving additional impetus to our strategic cooperation. We have built a very good and reliable long-term partnerships in so many strategically important areas, like security, energy, trade, and investment. So we are ready to have a follow-up of this cooperation.
And taking this opportunity, I would like to express our appreciation to the continuous and firm support of the United States of our independence, territorial integrity, and sovereignty.
ANTONY BLINKEN: Well, Mr. President, thank you so much for receiving us today. It's important, of course, on a bilateral level to build on the remarkable work that's been done now over more than 30 years to deepen and strengthen our partnership. And I think just in the last couple of years, we've made further important strides in that direction. The relationship is strong. It will only get stronger. And we're committed to that.
At the same time, we're grateful to you, we're grateful to your team for bringing together Central Asian partners here in Astana today. And so I look forward with fellow foreign ministers to really engage in even-- an ever more practical work in bringing the region together, creating greater connections, connectivity, and focusing on practical things that we can do to strengthen that work. And I think it will be to the benefit of people living throughout Central Asia and also to the United States.
But we're committed to engaging at the highest levels. And I'm just so pleased to be here to advance even further the cooperation that we have.