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.

Opinion: Kazakhstan’s "Yurts of Invincibility" are more than just a humanitarian initiative for Ukraine

In early January 2023, amid the freezing temperatures and power blackouts of Bucha - the Kyiv suburb now infamous for it being the location of Russian massacres of Ukrainian civilians in early 2022 - there popped up a Kazakh yurt where residents were served free traditional Kazakh food and tea, could keep warm and could charge their electronic devices. Soon after, another yurt appeared in downtown Kyiv.

patrickn97 Tue, 01/24/2023 - 09:56 Kazakhstan tightens entrance rules for citizens of EEU countries, including Russia

Kazakhstan has announced that they will tighten entrance rules for citizens of countries of the Eurasian Economic Union, including Russians.

A draft resolution adopted on 31 December, published on Tuesday (17 January), and which will become effective on 27 January will restrict citizens of countries of the Eurasian Economic Union to 90 days visa-free in Kazakhstan within any 180-day period.

patrickn97 Wed, 01/18/2023 - 13:25

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Campaigning starts in earnest ahead of presidential elections in Kazakhstan
Presidential elections will be held in Kazakhstan on 20 November. A country that until a few years ago had only known the rule of one man, is now being given a choice between six candidates, the incumbent president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, and five others:  Karakat Abden, Nurlan Auesbayev, Zhiguli Dairabayev, Meiram Kazhyken and Saltanat Tursynbekova. A 300 strong OSCE Observation Mission will deploy on election day to observe the elections. Headed by Urszula Gacek, the mission has already deployed a core team of 11 international experts based in Astana and 30 long-term observers, who will travel to the remotest parts of Kazakhstan in 15 two-person teams. The ODIHR also plans to request 300 short-term observers arrive several days before the election day. Meanwhile the election campaignb has started in earnest. The winner will serve for one seven year term and will not be eligible for re-election, according to constitutional changes proposed by president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, that were adopted recently.
dennis2020 Sat, 10/29/2022 - 08:22
Editor's choice
Historic first EU-Central Asia regional high level meeting

Historic first EU-Central Asia regional high level meeting

On 27 October 2022, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Zhaparov, President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov (represented by Turkmenistan's Deputy Chair of the Cabinet of Ministers) and President of the European Council Charles Michel welcomed the first regional high-level meeting in Astana. A joint statement issued after the historic meeting said that "in an open and friendly atmosphere of mutual respect and trust, the participants summarized the past period of multifaceted and mutually beneficial cooperation between Central Asian states and the EU and reaffirmed their commitment to continue building a strong diversified and forward-looking partnership underpinned by shared values and mutual interests. They reaffirmed their commitment to work together for peace, security, democracy, rule of law and sustainable development in full respect for international law. They expressed continued commitment to uphold the UN Charter, particularly the principles of respect for the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity of all countries., non-use of force or threat of its use and peaceful settlement of international disputes." In the 30 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Central Asian States and the EU, interregional cooperation has advanced in many areas and sectors and serves as an example of a multilateral partnership for prosperity and sustainability.
Kyrgyz government clamping down on media freedoms

On Sunday (23 Oct), multiple activists and politicians in Kyrgyzstan were arrested for their resistance to a government plan to hand over a major water reservoir to Uzbekistan as part of a border demarcation deal. Among the detained was opposition politician Ravshan Jeenbekov, who is also the founder of Next TV.

patrickn97 Mon, 10/24/2022 - 18:31
Editor's choice
6th CICA summit opens in Astana

6th CICA summit opens in Astana

The sixth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) started on Wednesday (12 October) in Astana. The summit marks the 30th anniversary of CICA, and the end of Kazakhstan’s two-year chairmanship of the conference. The summit is also expected to agree the transformation of the process into a fully fledged international organisation. According to the spokesperson of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry Aibek Smadiyarov, the summit will welcome 11 heads of state, including the leaders of Azerbaijan, Iraq, Iran, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Palestine, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko will participate as an observer and the Vice Presidents of Vietnam and China will also attend the summit. 
All set for Kazakh presidential elections on 20 November

Preparations are well under way ahead of forthcoming presidential elections in Kazakhstan, scheduled for 20 November.

All five candidates running for the post оfficially submitted their documents to the Central Election Commission (CEC), according to the Commission's press service.

This will be the first election under a new constitution. The winner will serve only for one term of seven years.

dennis2020 Tue, 10/11/2022 - 07:11
Charles Michel to visit Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan at the end of the month

European Council president, Charles Michel is expected to bvisit Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan at the end of October.

Michel tweeted 

Pleased about President @TokayevKZ’s invite to visit Astana & attend the Central Asian leaders meeting on 26-27/10.
Also pleased about visiting Uzbekistan on 28/10 & meet with President Mirziyoyev.
🇪🇺 is ready to deepen ties with Central Asia & support intra-regional cooperation

dennis2020 Tue, 10/11/2022 - 06:50
Kazakhstan to host next World Nomad Games in 2024

Kazakhstan will host the Vth World Nomad Games in 2024, said the chairperson of Mazhilis, the lower house of the Kazakh Parliament, Yerlan Koshanov, during a meeting with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Monday (3 October) 


At the fourth World Nomad Games that took place from Sept. 29 – Oct. 2 in the Turkish city of Iznik, Kazakhstan national team won three gold, four silver, and two bronze medals, reported the press service of the Centre of National and Equestrian Sports.

dennis2020 Wed, 10/05/2022 - 06:20
Editor's choice
CICA set to become an international organisation at this month's Astana summit

CICA set to become an international organisation at this month's Astana summit

The Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) is set to become a fully fledged international organisation during a summit of leaders of its members to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan on 12-13 October. A Special Working Group (SWG) meeting held on 28-29 September, has made a major advance in preparing draft documents to be adopted at the upcoming sixth CICA Summit. The main document includes a draft Astana Statement on CICA Transformation, which is designed to transform CICA into a full-fledged international organization. Other draft documents include a draft of the CICA Leaders’ Statement on Cooperation in the Field of Security and in the Use of Information and Communications Technologies and draft the CICA Plan of Action on the Implementation of the United Nations (UN) Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.