During his official visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan from 22 to 23 August 2013, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano met Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov and other senior government officials.
In his meeting with the Kazakh Prime Minister, Director General Amano expressed his appreciation for Kazakhstan's resolute commitment to the work of the IAEA. Prime Minister Akhmetov also reaffirmed Kazakhstan's staunch support for the IAEA and extended his Government's assurances of continuing effective cooperation with the Agency.
During the course of his official visit, Director General Amano met the Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs, Erlan Idrissov, and the Assistant to President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Yerzhan Kazykhanov. They discussed the Kazakhstan Government's re-introduction of nuclear power to address the country's growing energy demand, the prospects for global nuclear energy, an IAEA nuclear fuel bank for peaceful purposes, as well as nuclear safety.
The Director General praised Kazakhstan's crucial contribution to nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and its collaboration with the Agency in accomplishing its mandate. He also lauded the Kazakh Government's support and cooperation in the field of peaceful applications, in particular in promoting more effective cancer treatment.
Senior Kazakh government officials informed the Director General of the possibility that some areas in the vicinity of the former nuclear weapons test site in Semipalatinsk may be released for cultivation and other economic uses. Upon the request of the Kazakhstan Government, the IAEA has been providing assistance in enhancing national capacity in soil sampling and analysis in this region.
This was the Director General's second official visit to Kazakhstan. In October 2011, the Director General Amano attended the International Conference for a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk test site.