In 2003, Kazakhstan is planning to increase its gold reserves by 7.5 percent to 57 tons, a source in the press service of the Kazakhstani National Bank quoted Bank's head Grigory Marchenko as saying. While most of Western central banks are currently selling their gold reserves, the Kazakhstani National Bank intends to keep purchasing gold and does not plan any major selling in the near future, Marchenko reported. He noted that, at present, 53 tons of Kazakhstani gold reserves accounted for 16 to 18 percent of the total Kazakhstani gold and currency reserves.
Development of gold production is also among Kazakhstan's objectives. In 2002, the annual volume of gold production amounted to 17 tons. According to Marchenko, this figure is to rise to 25 tons in 2005.
US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Qadimi signed an agreement on July 26 to formally end the USA's military presence in the country by the end of the year