Response to the Address by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Tileuberdi

People lay flowers in memory of victims of recent protests at the fence of the Kazakhstan Embassy (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Response to the Address by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Tileuberdi

As delivered by Ambassador Michael Carpenter
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
January 20, 2022  

Thank you, Mr. Chair,

Welcome to the OSCE, Foreign Minister Tileuberdi.

The United States expresses its sincere condolences on the loss of life and injuries sustained during this month’s unrest in Kazakhstan.  We are pleased to hear that the violence has subsided.  We fully support Kazakhstan’s sovereignty and independence.  We believe in the resilience of Kazakhstan’s people and constitutional order and their capacity to rebound from this crisis.  As Secretary Blinken said, the United States is committed to our longstanding partnership with Kazakhstan and to supporting the reform goals articulated by your government, which you have just alluded to.  Political pluralism and broad participation are effective measures to advance political and economic reforms, to peacefully channel tensions and concerns into collaborative action.

We understand that approximately 10,000 people have been detained.  We encourage Kazakhstan’s government to provide transparency regarding the detainee population and to differentiate treatment of those who protested peacefully from those who engaged in violence and looting, and to accord due process to all.  We call on the government to conduct a full and transparent investigation into the tragic events, ensure fair trials for those accused of crimes in accordance with human rights obligations and commitments, making full use of OSCE instruments available, including ODIHR and other independent institutions.  We further reiterate our support for the right of all individuals in Kazakhstan to express and exercise the freedoms of peaceful assembly and expression.  We encourage constructive dialogue between your government and all peaceful civil society actors.  Additionally, we underline the importance of ensuring respect and support of media freedom..

Mr. Foreign Minister, we look forward to continuing our partnership with Kazakhstan on critical economic, political, educational, and environmental issues as outlined in President Tokayev’s January 11 address to the nation.  In that regard, the OSCE field mission in Kazakhstan offers valuable tools for strengthening societal resilience and helping advance these desired reforms.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.