Tokayev thanks U.S. for support of Kazakhstan's sovereignty, reiterates readiness to further develop bilateral ties
ASTANA. Feb 28 (Interfax) - Kazakhstan stands ready to further develop relations with the United States, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said at a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is currently in Astana on an official visit.
"Your visit is particularly important in terms of giving an additional impetus to building our strategic partnership. We have very good and reliable long-term partnership relations in strategically important areas such as security, energy, trade and investment. Therefore, we stand ready to further develop our cooperation," Tokayev was quoted by his press service as saying.
"Taking advantage of this opportunity, I'd like to express our gratitude for the United States' constant and firm support of our independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty," he said.
Commenting on economic cooperation, Tokayev said the U.S. is one of the largest investors in Kazakhstan, with investments totaling over $62 billion.
The Kazakh leader also welcomed the U.S.' efforts to broaden cooperation in the C5+1 format, emphasizing the importance of the Astana meeting of the Central Asian countries' foreign ministers and the U.S. secretary of state.
Blinken thanked Tokayev for the hospitality and conveyed the U.S. president's greetings to him.
"It's important, of course, on a bilateral level, 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. The relationship is strong; it will only get stronger. We're committed to that," Blinken said.