Assistant Secretary of State: U.S. cooperation with Kazakhstan in energy sphere is priority

Assistant Secretary of State: U.S. cooperation with Kazakhstan in energy sphere is priority

Kazakhstan, Astana, March 26 / Trend, A. Maratov /

The development of alternative energy sources and nuclear energy were the focus of annual bilateral consultations between Kazakh and American sides, the Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake said at a press conference in Astana on Friday.

"We discussed a wide range of issues, in particular, the expansion of our cooperation in the sphere of further development of nuclear energy and alternative energy sources," Blake said.

The Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Blake is on a two-day visit to Kazakhstan. He is the co-chair of the annual bilateral consultations between Kazakhstan and the United States. Blake also heads his country's delegation, which includes representatives of the U.S. Department of State, Department of Energy, Department of Defense and Security Council of the United States.

"As you see from the composition of the delegation, the range of discussed issues was wide enough. These included regional security issues, joint efforts to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan today and also within Kazakhstan's forthcoming OIC chairmanship," Blake said.

He said that during the current visit to Astana the fulfillment of Kazakhstan's national plan on human rights was also discussed.

"We also discussed improvement of the business climate in Kazakhstan," Blake said.

He stressed that, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry's representatives became co-organizers of his meeting with representatives of civil society first in Central Asia.

Blake is a career Foreign Service Officer. Ambassador Blake entered the Foreign Service in 1985. He has served at the American Embassies in Tunisia, Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt. He held a number of positions at the State Department in Washington, including senior desk officer for Turkey, Deputy Executive Secretary, and Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. Ambassador Blake served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Mission in India from 2003 - 2006, as Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives from 2006 to mid-2009, and as Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs from May 2009 to the present.

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