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Astana, 31st August: Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Prince [Karim] Aga Khan, the Imam of Imami Ismaili Shiah Muslims (the spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims) signed an agreement today to set up in the republic a branch of a Central Asian university.
The university will have the status of "a secular, private and nongovernmental higher education establishment", and will select students "irrespective of their nationality and religion", Nursultan Nazarbayev told journalists following the official ceremony of signing the document.
He said that principles of training will be agreed with Kazakhstan. Both "economic and social subjects" are planned to be included in the curriculum", [he said].
[Passage to end omitted: the university' aim is to develop education in mountainous regions; Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Aga Khan Foundation are involved in the project; it will be funded through donations; Aga Khan donates the first 5m dollars; other known details of the project]