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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kazakh Appointment

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev named Foreign Minister Kasymzhomart Tokayev as acting prime minister on Friday after Nurlan Balgimbayev resigned from the helm of the government, a government spokesman said.

"Tokayev has been appointed acting prime minister," Viktor Kiyanitsa said by telephone from the capital Astana.

The 46-year-old career diplomat has played a key role since becoming foreign minister in 1994, helping the resource-rich state build ties with the West and neighboring China while keeping good relations with Moscow.