• KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00212 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00212 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00212 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00212 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00212 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00212 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00212 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00212 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 7 - 12 of 126

Paving the Path Westward: Insights from the Astana and Shusha Summits

The informal OTS summit in Shusha, hosted at the invitation of Ilham Aliyev, centered on the theme of "Building a Sustainable Future through Transportation, Connectivity and Climate Action." Attendees included Presidents Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan, Sadyr Japarov of Kyrgyzstan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan, Ersin Tatar of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, and OTS Secretary General Kubanychbek Omuraliev. In place of Erdoğan, who was in Germany supporting the Turkish national soccer team ahead of a crucial Euro 2024 quarter-final against the Netherlands, Vice President Cevdet Yılmaz attended. Turkmen President Serdar Berdimuhamedov was also absent due to hosting UN Secretary-General António Guterres in Ashgabat. Notably, the Shusha summit occurred just two days after the meeting of SCO leaders in Astana, which drew an exceptional amount of attention from international observers due to the participation of the Russian and Chinese leaders. The intrigue surrounding the SCO summit was linked to its closed session, attended only by the Shanghai Ten. At the summit, only the speech delivered by Tokayev was made available to the press. Speeches made in the subsequent SCO+ format sessions were made public, wherein Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping underscored the need for a multi-polar world, suggesting that the SCO members had discussed shifting away from Western cooperation towards the Global South. At the Shusha summit Aliyev highlighted Azerbaijan's commitment to strengthening ties within the Turkic world, emphasizing the importance of the political, economic, and military consolidation of Turkic States as a global power center. Aliyev stated that Azerbaijan has consistently sought to unite the Turkic world and enhance its influence on the global stage, stressing that the OTS should seek to emerge as a significant global power. "We cover a large geographical space and positive demographic dynamics are observed in the member countries. Our greatest assets are our rich natural resources, modern infrastructure for their delivery, transportation corridors connecting Central Asia and the Caucasus with Mediterranean and Black Sea ports, and our rich and ancient history and culture. The commitment of our people to traditional values and ethnic commonality closely unites our countries. The 21st century should become the century of prosperity of the Turkic world," the Azerbaijani leader emphasized. Aliyev also addressed the primary tasks which lie ahead for the OTS, referencing the Astana Declaration of the SCO, which designates Central Asian republics as the organization's foundation. Leaders of these republics who attended the summit in Shusha, Tokayev, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, and Sadyr Japarov, endorsed Aliyev's call for the expansion of the East-West transport corridor connecting Central Asia and Eurasia to Europe. Aliyev further highlighted the Digital Silk Road project, which aims to establish a fiber-optic telecommunication route between Europe and Asia via the Caspian Sea through Azerbaijan. Furthermore, when the President of Kazakhstan delivered his speech, he stressed the significance of the Trans-Caspian International Transportation Route. "The potential of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route should be fully utilized. Today, the volume of container transportation along this corridor has...

UN: Central Asia’s Big Youth Population is Key to Progress

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres shook hands with presidents and addressed dignitaries in ornate halls during a tour of Central Asia last week. But he also spent a lot of time with young people, saying “their potential is largely untapped” in a region where, by United Nations estimates, people under 30 years old make up more than 50% of the population. Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal, met young climate activists in Kyrgyzstan and students in Turkmenistan. In Tajikistan, the U.N. chief said 70% of that country’s population is under 30 and told young people at a school there to hold elders to account on the pressing challenge of climate change. “You have the moral authority to talk to others - as those that suffered the impacts of climate change and are not contributing essentially to it,” Guterres said at a school established by UNICEF with funding from the European Union. “You are the victims of climate change. So, you have the right to tell the others, ‘Behave.´ Because they are not behaving.” Think globally, Guterres told the students. “It’s not Tajikistan or Uzbekistan,” he said. “No, it’s everything together.” The U.N.’s focus on young people having a say in Central Asia stems from a sense of possibility in what could shape up as an increasingly strong labor and leadership pool, as well as concern that young people with few prospects drift into unemployment and disenchantment, fueling social pressures and instability. The fertility rate in the wider region comprising Europe, North America and Central Asia has dropped in numerous countries in the last decade, while the “five Central Asian countries, Georgia, Israel and Monaco are the only countries in the region with a total fertility rate at or above replacement level,” the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe said in a report in October. At the same time, the report said, the Central Asian states are among the countries in the region that have “experienced negative net migration” since 2015, while countries receiving the largest numbers of migrants in that period were the United States, Russia, and Germany. The total population of the five Central Asian countries is about 76 million. Some of those countries, especially Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, rely heavily on remittances from nationals who struggle to find work at home and seek opportunities abroad, particularly in Russia. The alleged involvement of several Tajiks in a deadly terror attack in the Moscow area in March led to a backlash of harassment and intense scrutiny aimed at many Central Asian migrants in Russia. At a regional health forum in Kyrgyzstan last month, the Europe director of the World Health Organization, a U.N. agency, noted that Central Asia has a “significant young and educated population” at a time when European populations are aging. “This will – if the youth potential is maximized – give Central Asia an edge in the decades ahead,” the director, Dr. Hans Kluge, said.

Tokayev Calls For Expanded SCO to Play Greater Role on Global Stage

A meeting entitled “Strengthening Multilateral Dialogue – Striving for Sustainable Peace and Development” was held to conclude the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Astana on July 4. The meeting was was held in the "SCO Plus" format. and was attended by the leaders of the SCO full member states who participated in the Summit earlier in the day, plus leaders of the organization's observer countries and dialogue partners. These included the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, presidents Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey and Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The SCO Plus session of the Summit took on greater importance this year, amid suggestions that the alliance is primed to expand next year. Countries interested in joining the SCO as full members include Turkey, Qatar and Egypt.  In his speech at the meeting, Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev emphasized the role that the SCO can play as a stabilizing force in the international arena. “Today the world is faced with serious challenges caused by unprecedented geopolitical contradictions and growing conflict potential,” said Tokayev. “The international security architecture is under threat, which could lead to dire consequences for all of humanity. In such a fateful period, we are entrusted with a huge responsibility for strengthening peace, stability, and security through collective efforts at the regional and global levels. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, taking into account its authority, significant economic and human resources, is capable of developing effective solutions to achieve sustainable development goals and overcome modern challenges.”  Concerning the role of the United Nations, Tokayev said that its potential is far from being exhausted. “Our common task is to strengthen the role of the UN as the main international institution for ensuring global security, capable of effectively confronting the challenges of the 21st century. The voice of the SCO should and will sound louder in the international arena, promoting a consolidated position on various problems of our time,” he emphasized. In his own speech, Gutteres referred to the SCO as "a valuable partner of the United Nations". With reference to strengthening trade and economic ties, Tokayev said: “At the current stage, the economies of the SCO member countries are demonstrating high growth rates of 4% to 9%. The share of the SCO states in global GDP is 30% already. Today, the foreign trade of the SCO participating countries exceeds $8 trillion, which is equivalent to a quarter of all world trade.”  Tokayev emphasized the fact that economic growth in Asia is largely due to the SCO states. On behalf of Kazakhstan, he also welcomed China’s intention to expand access for SCO countries to its market, and increase trade turnover with the SCO member states to $3 trillion. “It is important for us to fully unleash the colossal economic potential of the SCO. The interaction of the SCO with such integration associations as the EAEU, BRICS and ASEAN opens up broad prospects. A powerful driver for sustainable growth in global trade is further strengthening of transport connectivity. More than...

Kyrgyzstan and Switzerland Strengthen Cooperation

On July 3, Kyrgyzstan President Sadyr Japarov met the Federal Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, Ignazio Cassis in Cholpon-Ata on Lake Issyk-Kul to discuss strengthening cooperation between the two countries. Switzerland has long conducted an expansive development program in Kyrgyzstan in sectors including economic development, governance, water, and infrastructure. The Kyrgyz president expressed satisfaction in their fruitful cooperation to date, with specific reference to the joint implementation of a dairy production enterprise in the Issyk-Kul region, as well as the reconstruction of the At-Bashi hydroelectric power plant, to which Switzerland has contributed over 20 million Swiss francs. Looking ahead, he proposed strengthening cooperation in the banking sector and tourism, and promoting the mining agenda. Japarov stated that in 2023 the volume of bilateral trade exceeded $1 billion and spoke of the need to increase that figure. On the same day, the Swiss Minister met the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, Jeenbek Kulubaev. Following discussions on bilateral relations and the positive outcomes of projects supported by Switzerland and implemented in Kyrgyzstan, both parties agreed to intensify collaboration. As reported by the Embassy of Switzerland in the Kyrgyz Republic, the visit afforded Minister Cassis the opportunity to witness first hand, the progress of Swiss projects implemented in Kyrgyzstan for over $500 million since 1994. The visit concluded with an evening reception, organized by the Swiss Embassy, to celebrate the Swiss National Day.

SCO Summit: Eurasian Alliance Signs Security Agreements; Welcomes Belarus

By Jonathan Campion, reporting from the SCO Summit in Astana   At the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Astana this morning, leaders from the bloc’s member states signed a host of agreements intended to promote cohesion in the Eurasia region. The first session, which was held behind closed doors, had begun with the signing of the document that accepted Belarus as the SCO’s 10th full member. The SCO is a political, security and economic alliance, of which Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are founding members. The group also includes China, Russia, Iran, India, Pakistan, and now Belarus. The organization has four observer states and 14 dialogue partners, covering half of the world’s population, and almost a third of global GDP.  The first agreement signed was a document outlining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s development strategy for the next 12 months. In 2025 Kazakhstan will pass chairmanship of the alliance to China, and there is speculation that the SCO may grow further next year, to include at least one new member. With security a growing concern for members, particularly in light of the March terrorist attack outside Moscow, for which the terror group Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) have claimed responsibility, leaders approved the SCO’s latest three-year Cooperation Program to counter terrorism, separatism and extremism. The parties also signed an agreement on the organization’s regional anti-drug strategy. Another high-profile document is the SCO’s development strategy for cooperation in the energy sphere. Kazakhstan is at the forefront of the region’s transition to green energy, with Chinese leader Xi Jinping mentioning the country’s new Zhanatas wind farm and the Turgusun hydropower station as key joint projects with China in an article published in the Kazakh press this week. The heads of state were welcomed to the Summit by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Aleksandr Lukashenko of Belarus and Chinese leader Xi Jinping the last to arrive, ten minutes after the other dignitaries. Some leaders did not arrive at all: India’s Narendra Modi is not attending this year’s SCO Summit, and has sent the country’s external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in his place.  The Summit's afternoon session is styled as "SCO Plus". In attendance are the heads of state of the alliance's dialogue partners, including the presidents of Turkey and Azerbaijan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ilham Aliyev. Turkmenistan – which is not affiliated to the SCO but which is invited as a guest – is led not by its President Serdar Berdimuhamedov, but by his father Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the former leader who is now the chairman of the country’s People’s Council.  

Two-Dimensional Outlook Characterizes Western Media Response to SCO Summit

The Western media’s binary response to the latest Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Astana creates an unnecessary – and perhaps unintentional – “us-versus-them” dichotomy. Characterizing the SCO as the “anti-NATO” alliance where China, Russia and Iran come together, this style of coverage makes no mention of the evident efforts of the majority of post-Soviet states to balance Russia’s decades-long influence in the region. It is also notable that the same outlets serving up this black and white coverage are not even in attendance at the summit, preferring to take aim from abroad. Central Asian states cannot escape the realities of their geography and have to largely rely on Russia and China for their economic prosperity. At the same time, their future independence requires that they are a respected part of the international rules-based order as well as on their increased contribution to global supply chains. Kazakhstan’s recent democratic reforms are in direct contrast to the authoritarian image cast on so-called “anti-NATO” countries. Armenia has announced plans to quit Russia’s Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) military alliance. Generally, the countries in the region have – with different degrees of enthusiasm – implemented a multi-vector foreign policy, including following international sanctions against Russia and issuing statements supporting the “territorial integrity of Ukraine.” Uzbekistan’s courts even went so far as to convict a citizen for joining Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. Those looking to force an antiquated one-size-fits-all Cold War paradigm on Central Asia will ultimately be frustrated. The ongoing SCO event in Astana is bringing together a mainly Eastern-centric group of leaders speaking about deeper cooperation among the Organization’s members. While the Western press may simply decry this gathering as anti-Western, the fact that Central Asia stood in support of international sanctions against Russia and stayed neutral in the conflict with Ukraine, much to the chagrin of Vladimir Putin and his retinue, shows the region holds more shades of grey than stark black and white. Central Asia cannot be expected to fall entirely into the orbit of Western or Eastern leaning powers. The region’s republics will, and should, aim to be aligned with both. Arguably, the West, Russia, and China may all be disappointed in the end, but that outcome may well be in the best interests of the Central Asian states.