Central Asia: Prerequisites for Openness
How are developments in Central Asia like? This question has been answered by representatives of the United States in a sentence.
The fact that there is no pressure from the US, and the dialogue is established at all levels, was confirmed by the regular meeting of the Working Group on Security within the Central Asia + USA ( C5 + 1) format of cooperation on 23 July 2018 in Tashkent. Representatives of all Central Asian nations and the United States of America took part in it.
Security became the main topic of negotiations. The parties decided to boost cooperation in countering the threats of extremism, terrorism, and in ensuring border security.
The current state and prospects of cooperation in the settlement of situation in Afghanistan were also discussed. The meeting participants noted that sustainable development in Central Asia is inseparably related to the achievement of peace and harmony in the neighboring Afghanistan.
The recent meeting in Kyrgyzstan was a natural continuation of efforts to develop mechanisms for multilateral cooperation in Central Asia. Foreign ministers of the Central Asian countries gathered in Cholpon- Ata on 21 July 2018. The officials also deliberated on security issues, while special significance was attached to the intensification of trade and economic ties among the countries of the region, enhancement of the transit and transport potential of Central Asia. The Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov invited the participants of the event to take part in the work of the Regional Economic Forum of Central Asian Countries, scheduled for October later this year.
Following the meeting, the ministers adopted a joint statement stressing the importance of the next consultative meeting of the heads of Central Asian states in Tashkent in March 2019.
The statement welcomes the achieved positive dynamics in the process of international legal registration of state borders among the countries of the region, amplification of inter- provincial and cross- border cooperation.
The parties noted the need to deliver conditions conducive for furthering the trade and economic relations, to swell mutual trade, and expressed the opinion that promoting intraregional investment interaction is important for business activity among the countries of Central Asia.
The participants confirmed that the expansion of the transit possibilities of the region will contribute to strengthening economic cooperation, developing transport infrastructure and launching transit freight traffic through transport communications of the countries in the region.
The document also deals with the integrated use of water and energy resources in Central Asia, for this it is important to develop sustainable long- term mechanisms for mutually advantageous cooperation taking into account the interests and needs of all the states of the region.
The next meeting of the foreign ministers is due in Tajikistan.
Executive Director of the National Endowment for Democracy Spatzka Hadzynska: The ongoing positive changes open up new opportunities for the enhancement of regional cooperation as much as for the dialogue between Central Asia and the United States.
Congressman Gregory Meeks: The countries of the region have made serious progress in bolstering democracy, although a number of unresolved problems remain, but the US should rather focus on cooperation than pressure.
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher: Over the past two years, there has been a positive development trend in Central Asia.