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Afghan President Holds Talks With Nazarbaev In Kazakhstan

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev (R) and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani smile as they arrive for a news conference after their meeting at the Akorda presidential residence in Astana on November 20.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has met with Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbaev to discuss economic and security ties during his first official visit to Kazakhstan.

Ghani said in Astana on November 20 that the leaders had discussed security and battling terrorism, which the Afghan president called an "evil that knows no borders."

Nazarbaev told Ghani that Kazakhstan will "continue to support the Afghan people's desire to build peace."

During a speech later at Astana's Nazarbaev University, Ghani told students that people from many different countries -- including China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan -- had been involved in Islamic extremist violence in Afghanistan.

"This is a regional problem of extremism, alienation, and embrace of violence," he said.

Ghani said the last thing he wanted to do was to become a "war president," but admitted that his "primary duty" as president "is to protect our national survival."

Ghani and Nazarbaev signed several economic cooperation deals, including one that will send 600,000 tons of Kazakh wheat to Afghanistan.

Trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Afghanistan was at $336.7 million in 2014, a figure that Nazarbaev said "is not a lot."

With reporting by Pakistan Today and Trend News Agency