Mr. Speaker, I rise today to include in the Record an opinion piece written by our former colleague, the gentleman from American Samoa, Mr. Eni F.H. Faleomavaega
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commend the Republic of Kazakhstan and its President on taking significant steps towards a more open and democratized form of governance.
Mr. Speaker, I look forward to continuing to pursue a strong U.S.-Kazakh relationship as we work together to bring peace and security to Central Asia, and as we work together to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and invest in renewable energy.
Over the past 26 years, Kazakhstan and the United States have built a strategic partnership based on mutual trust and friendship. Additionally, Kazakhstan has been and remains a vital partner in the fight against violent Islamic extremists--which is a threat to both of our countries--and Astana is an advocate of religious freedom and tolerance.
Kazakhstan has shown its leadership in nuclear disarmament by working with the United States to eliminate regional nuclear weapons stockpiles. From the closure of the Semipalatinsk Test Site in 1991 to the opening of Kazakhstan's Nuclear Security Training Center in 2017, the country has demonstrated its leadership in strengthening international security through promoting non-proliferation in the region.
The United States has important economic interests in Kazakhstan and increased bilateral trade would strengthen our relationship. Therefore, we need congressional action to normalize trade with Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan remains one of our most reliable and trusted partners throughout the world, and I am eager to watch our relationship grow in the future.
I look forward to a long partnership between Washington and Astana. A partnership that will include productive cooperation on shared economic and security priorities, as well as efforts to advance the development of an independent, stable, and politically free Kazakhstan. With these advances, Astana would become a model for other nations and a central partner on so many shared objectives.
Madam Speaker, we must encourage such development, but we must also never forget the role Kazakhstan has played in our fight against terrorism and the immense role the country has played in the global cause of non-proliferation. In Afghanistan, Kazakhstan has provided invaluable support for supply lines used by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Coalition, while also conducting joint military training programs with American and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces in the Central Asian steppes. As for non-proliferation, Kazakhstan, under President Nazarbayev's steady leadership, has not only relentlessly championed the cause of nuclear disarmament, but it has also established the world's first-ever Low Enriched Uranium Fuel Bank, in order to ensure stable civil nuclear energy use worldwide.
Kazakhstan and the United States have also been constructive partners in promoting security and stability around the world. Our two nations work together closely to support peace in Afghanistan and Central Asia through the Strategic Partnership Dialogue, joint-military efforts, and the C5+1 multilateral meetings. Additionally, President Nazarbayev was instrumental in Kazakhstan being the first Central Asian country to be elected to the United Nations National Security Council, providing a voice for the people of the region on a global stage. The United States welcomes this peaceful transition of power in Kazakhstan as it remains a reliable and trusted partner in Central Asia and I congratulate Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on his new role.