December 18, 2019 / 6:42 AM / a month ago

Kazakh president names new energy minister in high-level reshuffle

FILE PHOTO: Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev speaks during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (not pictured) at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

ALMATY (Reuters) - Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Wednesday named Nurlan Nogayev, previously a provincial governor, as energy minister - a key position in the oil- and gas-exporting nation - and reshuffled a number of other senior officials.

The previous minister, Kanat Bozumbayev, was appointed a presidential aide upon his request, Bozumbayev’s spokesman said, as recovery after back surgery would have precluded him from frequent travel required of a minister.

Nogayev, 52, had mostly worked in the oil industry before becoming the governor of the western Atyrau province which is home to the Central Asian nation’s biggest oilfields, Kashagan and Tengiz.

Tokayev appointed Madina Abylkasymova, until now a deputy central bank governor, the head of a newly established financial supervision agency, the president’s office said.

He also removed political heavyweight Imangali Tasmagambetov from the position of ambassador to Russia, saying he was reaching retirement age.

The Kazakh president also sacked his deputy chief of staff, Darkhan Kaletayev, without providing a reason, and replaced him with Maulen Ashimbayev, previously an aide.

Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Nick Macfie

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