Turkmen, Kazakh Presidents sign strategic partnership treaty

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Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov have signed a strategic partnership treaty that Kazakhstan’s president says will resolve all border disputes between the two countries.

Interfax reports that the signing took place on April 18 in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, during the first day of a two-day visit by Turkmenistan’s president.

Nazarbaev called the accord a “vital treaty of strategic partnership” and the “beginning of a new stage of development.”

Interfax quoted Nazarbaev as saying that Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan “will be the only two countries” in the Central Asia region that will not have “border problems.”

Turkmenistan temporarily closed its border with Kazakhstan on several occasions during the summer of 2016 for what Turkmen authorities said were “security concerns.”

Those closures came after deadly attacks on police stations in Kazakhstan earlier in the summer that officials blamed on terrorists.

During the Turkmen president’s two-day visit to Astana, Berdymukhammedov and Nazarbaev also were expected to sign eight other documents -- including agreements on border demarcation, an intergovernmental commission, mutual protection of classified information, and cooperation between foreign ministries.

An agreement on combatting illegal money laundering and the financing of terrorism also was expected to be signed.

Berdymukhammedov told reporters on April 18 that Turkmenistan supports Kazakhstan's domestic, regional, and international initiatives. But he did not get into specifics.

With reporting by Interfax, Tengrinews and Kazinform

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