The president of oil-rich Kazakhstan visited with former President George H.W. Bush on Tuesday a day before he was to travel to Washington and meet with President George W. Bush.

Nursultan Nazarbayev arrived early Tuesday evening at the Walker's Point compound, where he was greeted by Bush and his wife, Barbara. Nazarbayev and his aides were expected to stay the night.

Nazarbayev was due to travel Wednesday to Washington, where he will meet with government officials, members of Congress and others before meeting on Friday with President Bush, a son of the former president.

The president and Nazarbayev were set to discuss issues ranging from energy diversification to the promotion of democracy, according to the White House.

Kazakhstan, a vast republic the size of western Europe, has grown in importance because of its huge oil reserves. Nazarbayev has headed Kazakhstan since the 1991 Soviet breakup.