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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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".
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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.
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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.
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Its official: there are now 19 million Kazakhs

Its official: there are now 19 million Kazakhs

Kazakhstan is currently going through a period of rapid change as president Tokayev pushes forward a number of reforms and tries to stir a more independent foreign policy, despite the fact that Kazakhstan, a land locked country, is often seen as being sandwiched between China and Russia. Speaking at a summit of Central Asian states held in Turkmenistan on Friday (6 August) Tokayev said Central Asia should operate as “a connecting bridge between Asia and Europe.”
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Mirziyoev nominated for second term as president of Uzbekistan ahead of October elections

Mirziyoev nominated for second term as president of Uzbekistan ahead of October elections

Uzbekistan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party announced on 7 August it was nominating Shavkat Mirziyoev for a second term as president in the forthcoming October elections. Since coming to power in 2016 Mirziyoev has launched an ambitious reform agenda and has sought to end Uzbekistan's international isolation.
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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.