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.

Editor's choice
News
Tajikistan and Iran signal start of new era of co-operation

Tajikistan and Iran signal start of new era of co-operation

Iran and Tajikistan, in a change of course, appear to have opened a new chapter of friendly relations. After years of accusations from the Tajik government that Iran was supporting militant activity, the two countries, over the past month, have signed several agreements increasing co-operation in various areas. Tajik President, Emomali Rahmon, travelled to Tehran on an official visit at the end of last month to sign the documents. While no agreements were signed on security, there is a feeling among analysts that one may come soon. The accords illustrate the weakening of the Kremlin’s influence in Central Asia and the downstream effects of their invasion of Ukraine. They also reflect a widespread desire, noticed across the whole Central Asia region, to lessen dependence on Moscow and develop a more diversified relationship with other countries and blocs, including the US, the EU and Japan.
Editor's choice
Interview
Interview with the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the EU:  "We have very high hopes that the results of the referendum will have deep positive consequences for the future of our country"

Interview with the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the EU: "We have very high hopes that the results of the referendum will have deep positive consequences for the future of our country"

On Sunday, 5 June, the people of Kazakhstan voted overwhelmingly in favour of big changes to the country's constitution which envisage a redistribution of presidential powers to various other state organs and a system of checks and balances. The changes complement other ongoing political and economic reforms that have been initiated by president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev over the last three years. Commonspace.eu interviewed Ambassador Margulan Baimukhan, Head of the Mission of Kazakhstan to the EU about the importance of the constitutional changes, the role of Kazakhstan in Central Asia and the changes taking place in his country. "We have very high hopes that the results of the referendum will have deep positive consequences for the future of our country. It brings us one step closer to become a democratic state. Most importantly for me is that the referendum result paves the way for increasing the participation of the population in the governance of the country. It will nurture the culture of people in standing and defending their rights", the Ambassador said. Ambassador Baimukhan also spoke about the relations of his country with the European Union.  "The European Union was, is and will be at the forefront of our foreign policy agenda."

Filter archive

Editor's choice
Opinion
Opinion: China may end up being the biggest beneficiary of the Taliban power-grab in Afghanistan

Opinion: China may end up being the biggest beneficiary of the Taliban power-grab in Afghanistan

Beijing can turn the situation in Afghanistan to its own advantage, argues Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed. Afghanistan has significant minerals, including rare earth metals, which China will be glad to import. Beijing  could also include Afghanistan in the “Belt and Road initiative” and use it as another land route towards Iran and the Central Asian republics via Pakistan, and through Iran via Turkey or via Armenia-Georgia-Black Sea route to Europe.
Editor's choice
News
Taliban say victory over the Americans was a divine blessing

Taliban say victory over the Americans was a divine blessing

In a statement marking Afghan independence day, the Taliban said that "Fortunately, today we are celebrating the anniversary of independence from Britain. We at the same time as a result of our jihadi resistance forced another arrogant power of the world, the United States, to fail and retreat from our holy territory of Afghanistan".
Editor's choice
News
The Taliban settle in

The Taliban settle in

Whilst Taliban fighters made themselves at home at the presidential office in Kabul, and in other government offices across the capital, the leadership of the Taliban appears to be still concentrated in the city of Kandahar, in the South of the country, the power base of this mainly Pashtun movement. It was to there that the Taliban’s co-founder and political leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, flew to from Doha on Tuesday as the militants pledged peaceful relations with other countries and respect for the rights of women.
Editor's choice
News
Yankee come back!

Yankee come back!

During the cold war, the slogan "Yankee Go Home" was often seen or heard in many third world countries fighting against US domination. It is ironic that fifty years later, there are those in Kabul who are now shouting "Yankee come back". For many young Afghans the US presence had opened the possibility of a new way of life. At least in Kabul many are sad to see the Americans go. But as president Biden made it clear yesterday, there is no going back. American attempts at state-building in Afghanistan are over, and that has widespread consequences that are yet to fully unfold.