- The Washington Times - Monday, September 16, 2002

Kazakh oil boom
Kazakhstan, a strong U.S. ally in the war against terrorism, could also become one of the chief suppliers of oil to the United States, according to Kazakh Energy Minister Vladimir Shkolnik.
"Kazakhstan supports U.S. efforts to ensure diversified energy supplies for the U.S. economy," he told Kazakh reporters last week, after meeting Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham.
Mr. Shkolnik said Kazakhstan's oil reserves could add to world economic security by lessening dependence on Middle Eastern supplies.
"Kazakhstan will become an important contributor to ensuring the stability of oil supply and prices," he said. "The republic will play a very significant role in servicing the world's energy needs."
Thirty-three billion barrels of oil reserves have already been discovered in Kazakhstan's area of the Caspian Sea, and some experts estimate another 233 billion barrels remain undiscovered under the seabed, according to Sen. Conrad Burns, Montana Republican and a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Despite Kazakhstan's poor record on human rights, Mr. Abraham called the Central Asian nation "an important partner in the fight against terrorism."

Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
President Alejandro Toledo of Peru, who delivers the keynote address to the Organization of American States to mark the first anniversary of the Inter-American Democratic Charter. Other participants include: Didier Opertti, foreign minister of Uruguay; Elaine White, deputy foreign minister of Costa Rica; Heraldo Munoz, Chile's minister of government; and Barbara McDougall, president of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs.
Czech Defense Minister Jaroslav Tvrdik, who meets Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, who meets Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoelick. She also addresses a forum sponsored by the Japan-America Society and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Romanian Defense Minister Ioan Mircea Pascu, who meets officials at the Pentagon, State Department and National Security Council and Senate leaders.
Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitri Rupel and Defense Minister Anton Grizold, who meet officials at the National Security Council and the Defense Department and Senate leaders. Mr. Grizold on Friday addresses the National Defense University.
Yugoslav Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic, who holds a 3:30 p.m. news conference at the National Press Club.
Ambassador Andres Rozental, president of the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations, who joins Lee H. Hamilton, director of the Woodrow Wilson Center, at an 11:30 a.m. news conference at the Ronald Reagan Building to announce a joint U.S.-Mexican program for scholars.
Czech President Vaclav Havel, who meets President Bush. Mr. Havel and former Slovak President Michael Kovac on Thursday will dedicate a memorial to Thomas Masaryk, the first president of the former Czechoslovakia, in a 2 p.m. ceremony at Masaryk Park at the intersections of Massachusetts and Florida avenues and 22nd Street NW.
Javier Solana, the European Union's secretary-general for foreign affairs. He discusses U.S.-European relations at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Aziz Pahad, South Africa's deputy foreign minister, who joins a panel discussion on development in Africa at a meeting of the House International Relations subcommittee on Africa at 2 p.m. in room 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
Nailia Kulova, wife of jailed Kyrgyz opposition leader Feliks Kulov, and his brother Marcel. They discuss democracy in Kyrgyzstan at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Rama Mani of the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue of Geneva, who joins a panel discussion on the International Criminal Court at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, who holds a 3:30 p.m. news conference at the National Press Club to discuss his talks with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

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