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ASTANA. Correspondents of RFE/RL report that leader of the world's Ismailits Doctor Kareem Aga Khan visited Astana and held talks with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev today, August 31. At the press conference held after the talks President Nazarbayev said that Dr. Aga Khan agreed to allocate $5 million for establishing branches of Central Asian University in Astana and Almaty.
The University center will be in Pamir mountains of Tajikistan. In all, $15 million will be spent by Aga Khan Foundation for the University's set up. Dr. Aga Khan told correspondents of RFE/RL at the press conference: "...It is three countries, it is Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, and what we looked at, what I would call, a catchment area, ... is an area, ...a geographic area, in which you seek to bring something to the population. And these countries represent the most important catchment area to high mountains population of Central Asia.
The agreement does not impede other countries to join the University later on, if they choose to do so. And indeed the education will certainly be applicable to the high mountains areas of Afghanistan, the high mountains areas of North West Pakistan., high mountains area of Western China, the high mountains area of Iran, so the education will be applicable to the big catchment area of high mountains.."RFE/RL