ASTANA – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived on Sunday in Kazakhstan, the third stop on his first tour of Central Asia, where he will meet with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Kerry arrived at the airport in Astana from the Uzbek city of Samarkand, where he met with his counterparts from five Central Asian nations: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan.
In Samarkand, the six countries released a joint statement committing themselves to bolstering cooperation in all areas, including security, with a special emphasis on neighboring Afghanistan.
The statement emphasized the need to work on nuclear non-proliferation, an issue that Nazarbayev has made a priority.
Nazarbayev will meet on Monday with Kerry, who also has meetings scheduled with other high-level officials in Kazakhstan, a republic on the Caspian Sea that is known as the engine of the regional economy.
In addition to participating in the fourth meeting of the U.S.-Kazakhstan Strategic Partnership Dialogue, Kerry will deliver an address at Nazarbayev University on U.S. policy toward Central Asia.