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Analysis
Analysis: Central Asian countries need to remain focused on reforms despite new security threats

Analysis: Central Asian countries need to remain focused on reforms despite new security threats

The countries of Central Asia are at an important crossroads. The events in Afghanistan are not going to make their choices either more simple or more easy. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have taken very important steps in the last few years on the path to reform. It is important that they stay the course, and it is important for the EU and other western countries to help them in this task. If possible this should be done without adversarial engagement with either Russia or China, even though are likely to put obstacles in the way. Central Asia does not need another "great game". It needs support so it can develop and evolve for the benefit of its people, and so that the radical elements that have been successful in Afghanistan can be stopped in their stride. 
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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.
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News
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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News
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.