Washington, D.C., August 26, 2005 - Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Kassymzhomart Tokayev told the Voice of America (VOA) in an interview broadcast today that his country supports U.S. efforts against terrorism and is committed to strengthening political and military ties with the United States.
"The position of the government of Kazakhstan is clear and unequivocal," he said. "We are for the continuation of operations by the anti-terrorist coalition in Afghanistan."
He added, "The situation there is still very unstable, and we are grateful to the Americans for liberating Afghanistan from the Taliban because the Taliban regime represented a serious threat to all of the neighboring countries of Central Asia, including Kazakhstan."
Kazakhstan is the only Central Asian country to have sent troops to participate in the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq. Tokayev talked to VOA after his meetings in Washington, D.C., with senior Bush administration officials.
The interview aired during VOA's Russian language TV program Obektiv (Focus), a daily, 30-minute news program. Excerpts were also included in VOA's Ukrainian language programs.
VOA Russian also broadcasts Sobitiya i Razmyshleniya (Events and Opinions), a daily, one-hour radio news broadcast. VOA's other Russian language broadcasts include 2 hours of radio programs daily via shortwave and affiliates, and a weekly 30-minute TV show, Okno v Mir (Window on the World). Programs are also available on the Internet at www.VOANews.com/Russian.
The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages, including English.