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Kazakhstan Hires Blair as Star Consultant

Monday 24 October 2011

ASTANA (AFP) – Kazakhstan said on Monday it has hired Britain’s ex-prime minister Tony Blair as a consultant to attract new investment to the Central Asian state, on a contract reportedly worth millions of dollars.

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Blair is reported to have signed a one-year contract worth £ 8mn .

The hire marks a major coup for strongman President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s bid to promote Kazakhstan as an economic powerhouse despite complaints from critics that the country pays little heed to Western democratic standards.

The Daily Telegraph earlier said Blair had signed a one-year contract worth £ 8 million (US $12.7 million) with the government of Nazarbayev, who has ruled Kazakhstan since even before the Soviet collapse.

The foreign ministry refused to confirm the figure but said Blair was one of several foreign officials contracted by the Kazakh state.

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