Kazakhstan In Brief

Projected Capacity of Druzhba Station Enables a Load of 7 Million Tons - Transsystem company

At present the projected capacity of the Druzhba station allows a total load 7 million tons of per year to be processed. This will soon be over 10 million, according to the press service of Transsystem. Last year all freight traffic (more than 3 million tons) went though the station.

At the Zurich session of the International Federation of National Shipping Associations (FIATA) Transsystem held presentation on the northern corridor of the Trans-Asian railway, which passes through Druzhba station.

Participants of the FIATA session were invited to a conference, held by the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the State Company �Kazakhstan Temir Zholy� on June 10 to 13, 2000 in Almaty. The topic of the event will be the future development of traffic through the northern corridor of the Trans-Asian main railway.


Resolution of Problems in Central Asia Up to the Countries Themselves - OSCE

�The resolution of problems in Central Asia is up to the countries themselves, although if they appeal to the OSCE, we are ready to help settle conflicts", an OSCE spokesman announced on Thursday in Almaty.

Erik Kollings believes that economic and ecological problems should be settled first of all.

Representatives of the Otan party and scientists spoke at a round table devoted to the problem of international terrorism and extremism. The dean of the Kazakh State University, Kamal Burkhanov, emphasised that "all Central Asian countries currently had some border problems, and they must treat them without exaggeration.�

Organisers of the round table conference announced that they were to continue a cycle of meetings not only in both capitals, but also in the regions. Mr. Kollings expressed his readiness to participate in trips and called for a dialogue on problems of extremism and terrorism.


U.S. Official Fears Islamic Terror


March 29 (AP)

Islamic terrorism, partly a spillover from Afghanistan, poses a threat in Central Asia, where Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will make her first visit next month, a senior Clinton administration official said today.

Terrorist bombings last year in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, and border crossings of armed men from Tajikistan into Kyrgyzstan, are among the threats that have surfaced in the region, said Stephen Sestanovich, who heads the State Department's office on Russia and other former Soviet republics.

U.S. concern is focused on an �overflow� of Islamic fundamentalists from Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Sestanovich said at a breakfast meeting with reporters.

Albright plans to visit three Central Asian countries next month - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan - to try to promote democracy and opportunities for American business in the area rich in natural resources. The department announced Tuesday that the trip, her first to the region in more than three years in office, will be April 14-20.

The region is the target of foreign developers, including American corporations, trying to get a head start on reserves of natural gas and other energy supplies.

Albright will meet with American business leaders as well as promoters of human rights and civil societies in the three former Soviet republics, the statement said.

Islamic Extremists Put Central Asia Security At Risk, Says Sergeyev

ASTANA, March 29


Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev said violence by Muslim extremists in Central Asia increasingly threatens the region's security, the Interfax news agency reported Wednesday.

�Today the Central Asian republics are located on the front line of the fight with the forces of international terrorism and religious extremism,� Interfax quoted Sergeyev as saying.

�The appearance of extremist forces on the southern flank of the Commonwealth (of Independent States) in an arc from the Caucasus to the Pamirs, and the number and coordination of their activity, puts the task of consolidating forces in the region's states to fight this new geopolitical challenge at the forefront,� he added.

Sergeyev made the comments as he arrived in the Kazakh capital, Astana, for a meeting of defense ministers from the Shanghai Five, which groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.

Chinese Defense Minister Chi Haotian and his counterparts Esen Topoyev of Kyrgyzstan and Sherali Khairulloyev of Tajikistan also arrived in Astana on Wednesday, the spokesman said.

They will join Sergeyev and Kazakh Defense Minister Sat Tokpakbayev on Thursday for the one-day meeting, a spokesman at the Kazakh defense ministry said.

The five men will discuss agreements �on strengthening confidence-building measures in the military sphere and mutual reduction of armed forces along the border,� he told AFP.

Last autumn, up to 1,000 Islamic rebels invaded southern Kyrgyzstan and took four Japanese geologists hostage for two months before releasing them unharmed and retreating south into Afghanistan.

The rebels were expected to return to the region this spring when mountain passes reopen.

Muslim extremists have also been blamed for a series of bomb attacks which killed 16 people in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, in February 1999 and clashes with Uzbek troops in the Ferghana Valley in which 23 people were killed.

All Over the Globe is published by IPA House.
© 1998 IPA House. All Rights Reserved.