Cameron first PM in Kazakhstan

David Cameron has arrived on a mission to boost British trade with the mineral-rich Kazakhstan. He becomes the first serving Prime Minister to visit the country.

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Kazakhstan leader riled by human rights question

Kazakhstan's leader today delivered a withering response to a question about human rights from ITV News' Political Correspondent.

Romilly Weeks told President Nursultan Nazarbayev she had spoken to Kazakhs who are "gravely concerned" by the imprisonment of protesters and opposition leaders in the country, and allegations of torture and vote rigging.

She asked at a press conference held by Nazarbayev and David Cameron: "What assurances can you give to your people that the situation on human rights will improve?"

Nursultan Nazarbayev confronts ITV News correspondent Romilly Weeks

President Nazarbayev responded: "The journalist that just asked the question probably visits our country for the first time. Maybe some people see this country as a 'middle ages' country riding camels and horses so maybe that's natural to have that kind of vision.

"We have no political oppression. I would like those journalists to actually stay in Kazakhstan, to look around, talk to the people.

"Thank you very much for the recommendations, for the advice, but nobody has a right to instruct us how to live."

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Cameron: Kazakhstan is an 'emerging power'

David Cameron said Kazakhstan was "not just an emerging market" but "an emerging power" after signing a strategic partnership with the country:

We have agreed to open a new chapter in our relationship. The strategic partnership agreement that we have just signed will take our relationship to a new level.

A relationship based on strong economic ties, on closer co-operation on security and defence and on increasing links between our people.

– David Cameron

The Government hopes the business deals signed on the trip will be the start of a surge in trade, which could result in contracts worth £85 billion in Kazakhstan over the coming years.

UK businesses get £700m Kazakhstan boost

Cameron and Nursultan Nazarbayev have agreed a strategic partnership Credit: REUTERS/Leon Neal

Deals worth £700 million have been sealed by British businesses accompanying David Cameron on a visit to Kazakhstan.

The Prime Minister's visit is aimed at helping the UK catch up with other Western countries in forging ties with the oil and mineral-rich central Asian state.

Cameron also signed a new strategic partnership with Kazakh leader Nursultan Nazarbayev on the trip.

Cameron 'would like to be Harry Potter'

David Cameron has admitted he would like to be Harry Potter - but hinted that many Britons might view him as the evil Voldemort.

The Prime Minister revealed the aspiration during a question and answer session with students at the Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan's capital Astana.

David Cameron also visited an oil plant on his Kazakhstan trip Credit: REUTERS/Leon Neal/

Asked which character in the JK Rowling books he would like to be, Cameron said: "I can think of all sorts of characters you don't want to be and I suppose if you've got any sense you want to be Harry Potter. That must be the correct answer.

"But I suspect people in Britain might want to paint me in a different role but I'll let them do that, I won't make the work easier for them."

Kazakh leader defends human rights record

Nursultan Nazarbayev and David Cameron have discussed human rights Credit: REUTERS/Leon Neal/

The president of Kazakhstan insisted "key human rights" were secure in the country, during a visit from David Cameron.

Nursultan Nazarbayev added: "Nobody has a right to instruct us how to live."

Cameron said today that he had raised concerns about human rights with the Kazakh leader.

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Kazakh president: I would vote for Cameron

David Cameron was given the backing of Kazakhstan's ruler Nursultan Nazarbayev, who said he would vote for the Prime Minister.

President Nazarbayev, who has been labelled a dictator by critics, won 95 percent of the vote in Kazakhstan's most recent election.

David Cameron held talks with Nursultan Nazarbayev this morning Credit: REUTERS/Mukhtar Kholdorbekov

Asked what advice he could give to Cameron ahead of the 2015 general election in the UK, the president said: "Personally I would vote for him."

The Prime Minister's trade mission to Kazakhstan has been overshadowed by controversy over the country's human rights record.

PM: UK to sign £700m trade deals in Kazakhstan

David Cameron said business deals worth more than £700 million would be signed on the Kazakhstan trip.

But he added: "Nothing is off the agenda including human rights and Britain always stands up for human rights wherever we are in the world."

Stressing the economic benefits of the visit for the UK, he said: "Why am I here in Kazakhstan on a Sunday? I'll tell you why.

"We are in a global race for jobs and investment. This is one of the most rapidly emerging countries in the world.

"I have over 30 British businesses with me. We're hoping to sign over £700 million worth of deals.

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