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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Nowruz Bayram

Nowruz Bayram

21 March is celebrated as International Nowruz Day. Nowruz marks the first day of spring and is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, which usually occurs on 21 March. It is celebrated as the beginning of the new year by more than 300 million people all around the world and has been marked for over 3,000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and other regions.
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ISIS claims responsibility for the murder of three female journalists in Afghanistan

ISIS claims responsibility for the murder of three female journalists in Afghanistan

In Jalalabad, three women who worked for Enikas TV aged between 18 and 20 had died, and a fourth was critically injured, after being shot on their way home from work, Afghan officials have said. The three women dubbed dramas from Turkey and India into Afghanistan’s local languages of Dari and Pashtu.

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Outrage in Kazakhstan after Russian politicians appear to question the country's territorial integrity

Outrage in Kazakhstan after Russian politicians appear to question the country's territorial integrity

Kazakhs are outraged by comments by Russian politicians questioning their country's territorial integrity. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev rejected the assertion that any Kazakh territory was  a "gift from Russia", and said that such "provocative" comments were intended to "spoil" relations between the two neighbours.
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Kazakhstan formally abolishes the death penalty

Kazakhstan formally abolishes the death penalty

The law “On Ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aimed at Abolishing the Death Penalty”, was signed by president Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev  formally ending the use of the death penalty in the country. Kazakhstan declared a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in 2003.
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Improvised oral poetry remains a popular entertainment in Kazakhstan

Improvised oral poetry remains a popular entertainment in Kazakhstan

In Kazakhstan,  improvised oral poetry, spoken or sung to the accompaniment of traditional musical instruments, has for centuries been a source of entertainment. The Kazakh government has since independence in 1991 been keen to promote the tradition, known in Kazakh as Akyndar Aitysy, since this is seen as a way of consolidating national identity.
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Tokayev calls for an increased state of readiness in Kazakhstan armed forces

Tokayev calls for an increased state of readiness in Kazakhstan armed forces

Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev called on the leadership of the military to closely monitor the rapidly changing situation in the world, both globally and in some regions. According to him, the current security architecture is in crisis. Tokayev said he  believes that internal unrest and revolutions will inevitably affect the integrity of the country.
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EU-Central Asia relations moving forward

EU-Central Asia relations moving forward

The EU reaffirmed its wish to strengthen its role as a partner for the Central Asian countries in their reform processes, as a supporter of their integration in the world trading system and of their efforts to work closely together.
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Beijing charm offensive in Central Asia

Beijing charm offensive in Central Asia

The visit of the Chinese foreign minister to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia was a clear indication that Beijing is determined to maintain its special, and often privileged position in the region but not everyone was convinced