ASTANA, Kazakhstan, June 24 (UPI) -- The president of Kazakhstan has announced he will attend the NATO summit next week in Turkey, Kazakh media reported Friday.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev will attend the two-day conference starting Monday in Istanbul, the Kazakhstan Today newspaper said.
Since winning its independence on the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, Kazakhstan has tried to maintain close relations with Russia, its longtime overlord while forging close and prosperous economic ties with the West.
Kazakhstan is the largest oil producer in Central Asia east of the Caspian Sea and has attracted more than $13 billion in international investment over the past decade, largely for its energy sector.
Nazarbayev wants to strengthen his existing warm ties with the United States and other NATO nations in order to maintain that flow of investment.