Kazakh, Korean presidents to meet next week

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Kazakh, Korean presidents to meet next week

President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan will visit Korea next week to discuss energy cooperation between the two countries, the Blue House said yesterday.

Nazarbayev will arrive on Wednesday at the invitation of President Lee Myung-bak for a three-day trip. The two presidents will meet on Thursday to discuss a series of energy cooperation projects currently ongoing in Kazakhstan. The building of thermal power plants in the Balkhash region and the joint development of the Zhambyl oil field will be discussed, the Blue House said.

The energy-rich central Asian nation has the 11th largest oil reserves in the world and the 14th largest natural gas deposits, according to the CIA’s World Factbook, and an estimated 15 percent of the world’s uranium deposits.

Other infrastructure, construction, IT and agricultural programs will be discussed, the Blue House said, along with the country’s plan to diversify its industries.

During a May 2009 summit in the capital of Almaty, Lee said Korea would designate 2010 “The Year of Kazakhstan.” Reciprocally, Kazakhstan will name 2011 “The Year of Korea.” During his visit, Nazarbayev will attend the opening ceremony of that program, which will offer cultural events throughout the year.

By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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