Region

Central Asia

Stories under this heading cover Central Asia – a region of Asia, stretching from the Caspian Sea in the west to Mongolia in the east, from Afghanistan in the south to Russia in the north.

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Iran prepares to start process to join the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation

Iran prepares to start process to join the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation

During the upcoming summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Tajikistan, it will be announced that Iran is launching the procedure on joining the organisation. The Russian newspaper Kommersant wrote on 9 September that earlier, the process was hindered by international sanctions, and later, by the objections of one of the members.
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Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar expected to lead new Afghan government

Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar expected to lead new Afghan government

The Taliban are close to announcing the formation of their new government. They seek the recognition of the international community but this will come with conditions. Over the next weeks and months both the Taliban and the international community will be testing each other's intentions and resolve.
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Biden: The time of nation-building is over, we must focus on Russia and China

Biden: The time of nation-building is over, we must focus on Russia and China

"We’re engaged in a serious competition with China. We’re dealing with the challenges on multiple fronts with Russia. We’re confronted with cyberattacks, and nuclear proliferation. We have to shore up America’s competitiveness to meet these new challenges in the competition for the 21st century."
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International community divided on Afghanistan after last US soldier leaves

International community divided on Afghanistan after last US soldier leaves

The last US soldier has now left Afghanistan ending a costly and controversial two-decade presence in the country. But for the people of Afghanistan the future is very uncertain. It is also now clear that there are deep divisions in the international community with regard to how to engage further with the situation that has resulted from the swift Taliban take-over of the country.
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Analysis
Analysis: Central Asian countries need to remain focused on reforms despite new security threats

Analysis: Central Asian countries need to remain focused on reforms despite new security threats

The countries of Central Asia are at an important crossroads. The events in Afghanistan are not going to make their choices either more simple or more easy. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have taken very important steps in the last few years on the path to reform. It is important that they stay the course, and it is important for the EU and other western countries to help them in this task. If possible this should be done without adversarial engagement with either Russia or China, even though are likely to put obstacles in the way. Central Asia does not need another "great game". It needs support so it can develop and evolve for the benefit of its people, and so that the radical elements that have been successful in Afghanistan can be stopped in their stride. 
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France and UK want a UN “safe zone” in Kabul

France and UK want a UN “safe zone” in Kabul

France and the United Kingdom want to create a safe zone in the Afghan capital Kabul to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians under the protection of the United Nations. French president Emmanuel Macron has said that France will submit a resolution to this effect to the UN Security Council on Monday (30 August).