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Jewish Community Asks USA to Cancel Jackson-Vanik Amendment for Kazakhstan
Interfax news agency, Moscow
BBC Monitoring Central Asia

Text of report by corporate-owned Russian news agency Interfax

Almaty, 6 March: The Jewish community in Kazakhstan asks the new US administration to consider an opportunity to remove Kazakhstan from the affect of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to the law on trade.

The relevant request was made by Kazakhstan's chief rabbi, Yeshayah Cohen, to US officials at a meeting in Washington, the Kazakh embassy in the USA said today.

"When we had experienced hard times, we knocked all doors and the USA heard us. Today, when we feel ourselves like at home in Kazakhstan, we turn to our American partners and the new administration with a request to solve the issue of cancelling the amendment against Kazakhstan," the spiritual leader of the Jewish community, Cohen, said at the meeting, whose words were quoted in a press release.

"The Kazakh government is loyal to preserving the spirit of tolerance - a gift inherited from history by the nation. Tolerance is being taught in families and kindergartens, being taught and strengthened at schools and higher educational establishments," he said.

The Jackson-Vanik amendment was adopted in 1974 against the USSR and imposes certain restrictions on USA's trade relations with foreign partners. The amendment had been adopted as a response to measures taken by the Soviet Union's to restrict Jews' immigration from the country.

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