The annual U.S.-Kazakhstan Enhanced Strategic Partnership Dialogue (ESPD) concluded today after three days of virtual discussions on bilateral and regional issues. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Dean Thompson led the U.S. delegation, which included senior officials from multiple State Department bureaus and U.S. government agencies. The goal of the ESPD is to provide a forum where the United States and Kazakhstan can enhance our ties and advance common interests.
This year’s U.S.-Kazakhstan ESPD included discussion on a wide array of issues important to our bilateral relationship and to the Central Asia region. Participants discussed COVID-19 cooperation and economic recovery, counterterrorism and security, trade and investment, as well as women’s economic empowerment. They also discussed the importance of protecting democratic freedoms, the growing importance of the C5+1 format, and expanding education and cultural exchange. Participants reflected on some of the positive developments in the bilateral relationship this year, such as the construction of a border guard training center designed to serve the whole Central Asia region, support for the rehabilitation and reintegration for returned family members of foreign terrorist fighters, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s establishment of a U.S.-Kazakhstan Business Council to advance economic and commercial cooperation.
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