Kazakhstan establishes peace prize, awards king of Jordan

The president of Kazakhstan says King Abdullah II of Jordan will be the first recipient of a new award established by the ex-Soviet Central Asian nation to mark contributions to global security and nuclear disarmament.

Nursultan Nazarbayev announced Monday that Abdullah will become the first recipient of the $1 million prize. Nazarbayev established the prize to acknowledge contributions to global security, regional stability and nuclear non-proliferation by world leaders and organizations.

He hailed the king's efforts to make Jordan an anchor of stability in the turbulent Middle East region. Abdullah is to receive the inaugural prize next month in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana.

During the Soviet times, Kazakhstan's territory was used for nuclear weapons tests. The prize marks the closure of the test facility in Semipalatinsk.