Kazakh, Uzbek officials head to US to discuss religious issues


WASHINGTON -- Kazakh and Uzbek delegations are visiting or plan to visit the United States to meet with US and international officials on religion.

A Kazakh delegation headed by Minister of Social Development Darkhan Kaletayev met with US officials in Congress and the State Department in Washington, DC, according to a ministry statement Monday (July 23).

The delegation also conferred with leaders of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom and the Commission on Security and Co-operation in Europe (the US Helsinki Commission).

The two sides discussed the religious situation in Kazakhstan.

Kaletayev went to New York, where he met with Swami Parameshananda, president of the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, and Dr. William Fray Vendley, secretary general of the World Conference of Religions for Peace, said the statement.

Both religious leaders expressed interest in taking part in the next Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions as moderators. The event is scheduled for October in Astana.

Meanwhile, an Uzbek delegation led by Foreign Minister Abdelaziz Kamilov is set to hold a number of meetings in Washington Tuesday-Friday (July 24-27), the Uzbekistan National News Agency reported Sunday (July 22).

The delegation will participate in the US State Department's Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington Wednesday-Thursday (July 25-26).

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