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State Dept. On The Record Briefing December 8

State Dept. On The Record Briefing December 8, 2001

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesman (Astana, Kazakhstan) For Immediate Release December 10, 2001

On The Record Briefing By Ambassador Richard Boucher, Assistant Secretary Of State For Public Affairs At The Inter-Continental Hotel Astana, Kazakhstan December 8, 2001

AMBASSADOR BOUCHER: From the airplane this afternoon, Secretary Powell called President Akayev of Kyrgyzstan to express his regrets that he was not able to visit Kyrgyzstan today. As you all know, we were not able to land there because of the weather. The Secretary thanked him for all the support we have received since September 11 and noted that the Parliament had just voted on the Status of Forces Agreement that allows deployments and said that was good. He said that the United States would work with him on the longer-term relationship in areas like border security and economic relations. And they discussed plans to have an economic group come from Kyrgyzstan to Washington to discuss economic relations when that can be set up.

QUESTION: (inaudible)

AMBASSADOR BOUCHER: No, the Kyrgyz are coming to Washington. We'll have to set it up after the first of the year.

QUESTION: (inaudible)

AMBASSADOR BOUCHER: I think there are a number of areas where we can support economic reform, but I do not have any specifics at this point.

QUESTION: (inaudible)

AMBASSADOR BOUCHER: Not in this phone call. This phone call was relatively brief, but he characterized it as a very good phone call. The Kyrgyz President clearly understood why we could not stop there.

QUESTION: (inaudible)

AMBASSADOR BOUCHER: I think it was fog and ice.

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