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.

First Astana International Forum taking place in Kazakhstan on 8-9 June
The first Astana International Forum (AIF) is taking place in Kazakhstan on Thursday and Friday (8-9 June). An initiative of the Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the Astana International Forum writes that it will "serve as a platform for high-level delegates from foreign governments, international organizations, businesses and academic circles to engage in dialogue and seek solutions to problems such as climate change, food shortages and energy security". Over 1,000 people will participate in the conference, which is running under the theme "Tackling Challenges Through Dialogue: Towards Cooperation, Development & Progress". There will be several keynote speeches and over 40 panel sessions, discussions, and side events. The decline of Russia in Central Asia as a result of its ongoing full-scale invasion of Ukraine has propelled the region into a new geopolitical reality. Especially on trade, difficulties trading via Russia as a result of sanctions have given Central Asia a renewed, critical position in facilitating east-west trade. To that end, Central Asian connectivity is also high on the agenda at the AIF.
patrickn97 Thu, 06/08/2023 - 11:37 Second EU-Central Asia summit taking place in Kyrgyzstan, regional cooperation top of the agenda

The second EU-Central Asia summit is taking place on 2-3 June in Cholpon Ata, Kyrgyzstan, on the northern shores of Issyk-Kul Lake. The first EU-Central Asia summit took place in Astana in October last year, while the second EU-Central Asia economic forum took place recently, on 19 May in Almaty.

patrickn97 Fri, 06/02/2023 - 10:23

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Turkistan Declaration adopted at the first ever Central Asian Interparliamentary Forum
The first ever meeting of the Central Asian Interparliamentary Forum is taking place in the Kazakh city of Turkistan on Friday (10 February), which has resulted in the adoption of the landmark Turkistan Declaration. The forum, which brings together parliamentarians from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, is discussing the strengthening of comprehensive strategic cooperation among Central Asian states and the role of parliaments in this process.  More specifically, the forum is discussing topics including regional security, the development of joint infrastructure and logistics projects, transit and transport potential of the region, and alternative supply routes from Central Asia. Alongside discussing strategic cooperation, parliamentarians are also discussing expanding cultural and humanitarian cooperation based on a common historical and cultural heritage.
patrickn97 Fri, 02/10/2023 - 08:49
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A new sense of purpose in Central Asia as leaders seek better relations between their countries and with the rest of the world

A new sense of purpose in Central Asia as leaders seek better relations between their countries and with the rest of the world

For more than three decades after the collapse of the USSR the five Central Asia Republics continued to live largely in the shadow of Moscow.  Neighbouring China made headway, particularly in the economic sphere, largely with Moscow’s acquiescence, and there were a few moments when the west appeared to be making a mark on the region too, especially after the 9/11 attacks, when the US was allowed facilities to help with its invasion of Afghanistan. But this moment did not last long. On everything else that mattered, and for most of the time, Moscow continued to call the shots. The last five years have seen a seismic change in the region. A new generation of leaders are seeking better relations with the rest of the world: connectivity has become a buzzword, and there is a genuine effort to engage with the EU and the US, in most if not all the capitals. Ukraine, and the implications of the Russian invasion on future relations with all the post Soviet states, has focused minds, particularly in Tashkent and Astana.
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EU and Uzbekistan officials meet to discuss ties, promise to expand cooperation

EU and Uzbekistan officials meet to discuss ties, promise to expand cooperation

The Uzbek Minister of Investments, Industry and Trade Laziz Qudratov hosted the head of the delegation of the EU in Uzbekistan Charlotte Adriaen on Monday (30 January) to discuss ways to advance bilateral ties in trade, economic and investment spheres. The parties explored the opportunities for expanding the main areas of bilateral financial and technical cooperation, and discussed the EU's Multi-Annual Indicative Programme for Uzbekistan (MIP), the implementation of which has been allocated €76m for the period 2021-2024. Additional funds for the same time frame were also earmarked for Human Rights support (€3.6m), and Civil Society Organisation (€3.4m). The MIP 2021-2027 has three main priorities, namely effective governance and digital transformation; inclusive, digital and green growth, and the development of a smart eco-friendly agri-food sector.
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
Kazakh and Azerbaijani leaders visit UAE for Abu Dhabi sustainability summit

The Presidents of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Ilham Aliyev, have both addressed the opening ceremony of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week summit as the UAE leads up to COP28 later this year.

In his speech on Monday (16 January), President Tokayev of Kazakhstan spoke about his country's commitment to achieving climate neutrality.

patrickn97 Tue, 01/17/2023 - 11:02