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U.S. President Barack Obama is set to visit Kazakhstan during
U.S. President Barack Obama is set to visit Kazakhstan during a tour of the Central Asian region, a spokesman for the Kazakh senate reported on Tuesday.

Kazakh Senate Speaker Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev, currently attending a forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in Istanbul, passed on to Obama an invitation from the Kazakh president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, at a meeting on Monday.

Obama described U.S. relations with Kazakhstan as "strategic" and promised to visit the "friendly" ex-Soviet republic.

On a separate note, Tokayev confirmed that Kazakhstan was ready to adhere to the nuclear non-proliferation policies agreed at recent talks in Astana with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The Kazakh senator also informed Obama of his country's readiness to set up a nuclear fuel bank as part of a civilian program supervised by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which Nazarbayev announced recently.

In September 2008, Washington said it would allocate $50 million to create a nuclear fuel bank under the UN nuclear watchdog, and called on all countries to invest funds for the purpose.

Some countries have already made the decision to allocate $5-10 million for this task.

Ahmadinejad said he backed Nazarbayev's idea, saying: "We believe Nazarbayev's proposal to create a nuclear fuel bank in Kazakhstan is a very good proposal."


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