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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Enchanting but distant Tajikistan says it is ready for increased co-operation with Europe

Enchanting but distant Tajikistan says it is ready for increased co-operation with Europe

At a recent promotion forum in Brussels senior Tajik officials emphasised that their country was business friendly and tourist welcoming. Young and eager Tajik entrepreneurs also highlighted that both country and society were ready for qualitative step-change in relations with Europe. On its part the EU has signalled it is ready to increase co-operation with the strategically located country, including through enhanced partnership agreements.
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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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Taliban enter Helmand

Taliban enter Helmand

Taliban fighters appear poised to capture the strategically and symbolically important city of Helmand in southern Afghanistan. Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters have been locked in heavy clashes for the last two days after the insurgents entered the city which is also the capital of the southern province that bears the same name. Sources say many civilians are trying to flee the city.
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Tashkent hosts major conference focusing on Central and South Asia

Tashkent hosts major conference focusing on Central and South Asia

Speaking at the start of one of the largest international events to take place in the Uzbek capital for decades, the president of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, spoke of the need for the revival of mutual ties in Central and South Asia, where about two billion people live today. Regional and world leaders are attending the International Conference “Central and South Asia: Regional Interconnectedness. Challenges and Opportunities”, including high level officials from the EU and the US, the President of Afghanistan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the foreign ministers of the Central and South Asian countries, and delegations from 44 countries and about 30 international organisations.
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China rushes to build security contacts in Central Asia in the face of Taliban advance

China rushes to build security contacts in Central Asia in the face of Taliban advance

China is rushing to build or increase security ties in Central Asia in the face of a Taliban advance following the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan next month. However, some sources claim China is actually financing the Taliban, a report in the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta says.
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Russian media warn of impact of a Taliban takeover in Afghanistan on Central Asia

Russian media warn of impact of a Taliban takeover in Afghanistan on Central Asia

In Russia, and in the former Soviet states of Central Asia, there is growing concern about the situation in Afghanistan. Russian media has been urging the authorities to prepare for a Taliban takeover after the US and NATO complete their withdrawal from the country, now scheduled for 31 August, speculating that this will trigger a full-scale power shift in the country within several months.
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EU and Central Asian states hold annual High-Level Political and Security Dialogue

EU and Central Asian states hold annual High-Level Political and Security Dialogue

The eighth High-Level Political and Security Dialogue between the European Union and the countries of Central Asia - Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - took place on Thursday (1 July) in the capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, with the participation of Afghanistan as special guest. The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss regional dynamics and advance region-to-region cooperation on a broad spectrum of issues, including border management, security and the promotion of sustainable connectivity.