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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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.

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Tokayev sets the date for constitutional referendum that promises to hail a new era for Kazakhstan

Tokayev sets the date for constitutional referendum that promises to hail a new era for Kazakhstan

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan announced Thursday (5 May) that on 5 June, a constitutional referendum will take place. The referendum will ask voters to approve an overhauled constitution that the government say will launch Kazakhstan’s Second Republic. To modernize Kazakhstan, Tokayev will need to implement deep-rooted reforms to institute substantial reforms, in practice and not merely in a declaratory fashion as was the habit with his predecessor. The constitutional changes are seen as a good start, but can certainly not be the end of the story if the promise of a new Kazakhstan is to be delivered.
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Sectarian carnage in Afghanistan leaves dozens of dead and wounded

Sectarian carnage in Afghanistan leaves dozens of dead and wounded

The terrorist jihadist group, "Islamic State" (IS) claimed responsibility for a cluster of deadly attacks across Afghanistan on 21 April. The explosions were aimed at mosques as well as Taliban affiliated vehicles. At least 31 were killed and 87 were wounded. Another blast was reported on 22 April with 33 reported dead. No group is yet to claim responsibility for the latest attack.The IS say that the actions are part of a global campaign to “avenge” the death of its former leader and spokesman. While the Taliban government in Afghanistan say that they have defeated the extremist Jihadist group, the outburst of attacks highlights the continuing security risk that the group poses. Afghanistan has suffered several attacks over the past week as at least 47 were killed after Pakistan conducted airstrikes in Eastern Afghanistan.