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Russia wants CSTO allies to deploy to Syria

  • Written by Uran Botobekov

BISHKEK (TCA) — Moscow is reportedly negotiating sending troops from its CSTO allies — Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan — to monitor the military situation in Syria. The move, if it happens, certainly meets Russia’s political goals but it would bring nothing but headaches to the Central Asian countries, which are still reluctant to sign up to Moscow’s initiative. We are republishing this article by Uran Botobekov on the issue, originally published by The Jamestown Foundation’s Eurasia Daily Monitor:

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Kazakhstan can supply camel products for export

  • Written by TCA

ASTANA (TCA) — Kazakhstan’s camel products can be exported to the markets of the Middle East and the entire Muslim world, Gauhar Konysbaeva, the camel breeding expert at the Center for Agro-competencies of the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan, said at a camel breeding seminar organized for agrarians of the Atyrau region, Atameken reported.

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World Bank project to help Tajikistan cope with natural disasters

  • Written by TCA

DUSHANBE (TCA) — The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on July 10 approved US$50 million from the International Development Association for the Strengthening Critical Infrastructure Against Natural Hazards Project in Tajikistan. The project will strengthen the country’s capacity to prepare for, mitigate and respond to natural disasters. Related investments will help Tajikistan—a country prone to floods, mudslides, and earthquakes, and exposed to considerable climate change risks—to be able to prepare for potential natural disasters and to improve critical infrastructure, the World Bank said.

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European Union the main trading partner of Kazakhstan — official

  • Written by TCA

ASTANA (TCA) — Kazakhstan last week participated in a meeting of the WTO's Trade Policy Review Body, during which the trade policy and practice of the European Union were discussed on the basis of reports prepared by the European Commission and the WTO Secretariat, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry reported.

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Swiss finance minister visits Kyrgyzstan

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — The Swiss Federal Councillor and Minister of Finance, Ueli Maurer, visited Kyrgyzstan from 9 to 10 July on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the joint voting group in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. The visit included meetings with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, Minister of Finance Adylbek Kasymaliev, Governor of the National Bank Tolkunbek Abdygulov, as well as with local entrepreneurs and opinion leaders, the Embassy of Switzerland in the Kyrgyz Republic said.

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EBRD approves new strategy for Kazakhstan, sets investment priorities

  • Written by TCA

ASTANA (TCA) — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Board of Directors has approved a new country strategy for Kazakhstan, which outlines the Bank’s primary areas of investment and policy engagement in the country over the next four years, the Bank said on July 10.

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Czech company to build Upper Naryn hydropower plants cascade in Kyrgyzstan

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — On July 10, in Bishkek, in the presence of Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev, the Government of Kyrgyzstan and the Czech company Liglass Trading CZ, SRO signed agreements on the construction, commissioning and maintenance of Akbulun and Naryn-1 hydropower plants (HPPs) of the Upper Naryn HPPs Cascade, as well as on the implementation of a project to build small hydro power plants in Kyrgyzstan, the president’s press service said.

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Deputy speaker of Uzbekistan’s Senate speaks on SCO, CIS prospects

  • Written by TCA

TASHKENT (TCA) — A regular meeting of the International Press Club which recently took place in Tashkent discussed such issues as the risk of disagreements between India and Pakistan in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) format, and the role and plans of Uzbekistan in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Jahon information agency reported.

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EU providing assistance for border management in Central Asia

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — The European Union sees Central Asia as one of the most strategically important regions. Trans-regional challenges such as human trafficking, drug trafficking, organised crime and terrorism influence the EU interests. Since border security is one of the key elements for stability of the whole region, in 2003 the EU launched a special Programme, the Border Management Programme in Central Asia (BOMCA), aimed at enhancing security, fighting against illegal trafficking and facilitating trade in Central Asia. All five Central Asian countries — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan — are beneficiaries of BOMCA, the Delegation of the European Union to the Kyrgyz Republic reports.

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Uzbekistan attracts tourists from Germany

  • Written by TCA

TASHKENT (TCA) — The chairman of the Association of Private Tourism Agencies of Uzbekistan (APTA) recently visited Germany to conduct negotiations with potential German partners on establishing long-term cooperation to attract tourists from Germany to Uzbekistan, the Jahon information agency reported.

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President outlines Turkmenistan’s economic development tasks for 2nd half 2017

  • Written by TCA

ASHGABAT (TCA) — At the meeting of Turkmenistan’s Cabinet of Ministers on July 7, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov summarized the country’s results for the first half of the year and outlined tasks for the period until the year’s end, Turkmen state media reported.

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Kazakhstan hosts capacity building seminar for Afghanistan civil servants, NGOs

  • Written by TCA

ASTANA (TCA) — The Seminar on Capacity-Building and Networking for Civil Servants and NGOs from Afghanistan opened on July 8 at Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan. The Seminar is held in the framework of the joint project “Promoting Kazakhstan’s Official Development Assistance Cooperation with Afghanistan”. This project is conducted jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Embassy of Japan to Kazakhstan, and supported by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), UNDP in Kazakhstan said.

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Kyrgyzstan drives to optimize its energy sector

  • Written by Maria Levina

BISHKEK (TCA) — Kyrgyzstan has found investors for the construction of the Upper Naryn hydropower plants (HPPs) cascade, Sapar Isakov, head of the Office of the President of Kyrgyzstan, said at a roundtable discussing challenges and reforms in the country’s energy sector on July 4 in Bishkek.

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Weekly Digest of Central Asia

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — The Publisher’s note: Central Asia is an important geopolitical area between Europe, Russia and China. It is in Central Asia that world powers have confronted each other for centuries; it is here that China needs to succeed with its new Silk Road Belt for direct access to the Western markets; and it is here that a large wealth of raw materials has its origin. Every week thousands of news appears all over the world in printed and online media and it is quite understandable that many of them may escape the attention of busy readers. At The Times of Central Asia, we strongly believe that more information can better contribute to peaceful development and better knowledge of the region, and for this reason we are presenting this Weekly Digest of Central Asia which compiles what other media have reported during the past week.

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Trade and remittances lay ground for economic recovery in EDB countries — report

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — The economic trends improved in Q2 2017 in the member countries of Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) — Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan. This development is largely based on the recovery of key transmission channels in the region, primarily trade and remittances. These are the findings of the Monthly Macroeconomic Review prepared by the Chief Economist Group at EDB.

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ADB and InFin Bank sign trade finance deal in Uzbekistan

  • Written by TCA

TASHKENT (TCA) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Uzbekistan’s Invest Finance Bank (InFin Bank) on July 5 signed an agreement enabling cooperation to support trade in Uzbekistan through ADB’s Trade Finance Program (TFP), ADB’s country office said.

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Tajikistan: opposition beds down and plots in Polish exile

  • Written by Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska

DUSHANBE (TCA) — After authorities in Tajikistan banned the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan in 2015, hundreds of Tajik opposition members have fled the country for the Middle East, Russia, and Europe, with Poland becoming an attractive place for Tajik political emigrants. Today, Tajikistan’s and Central Asia’s only Islamic party is consolidating in Europe to struggle against political repression in Tajikistan. We are republishing this article by Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska on the issue, originally published by EurasiaNet.org:

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Analyst says US cannot win war in Afghanistan without Moscow

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — The United States should team up with the major players in the region, most notably with Russia, to tackle the terror threat in the Middle East and Afghanistan, Ali Ahmad Karimi, an Afghan political observer, told Russia’s Sputnik news agency.

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UNICEF, EU strengthen children’s resilience to cope with natural disasters in Central Asia, South Caucasus

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — More than 1 million people including 700,000 children are better prepared to cope with natural disasters in eight countries prone to earthquakes, floods and landslides in Central Asia and the South Caucasus as the result of a UNICEF programme supported by the European Union, the Delegation of the European Union to the Kyrgyz Republic said on July 6.

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China companies interested in joint projects in Turkmenistan

  • Written by TCA

ASHGABAT (TCA) — The first universal exhibition of China goods in Turkmenistan closed in Ashgabat, the State News Agency of Turkmenistan reported on July 6.

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Construction of TAPI gas pipeline may start in Afghanistan within a year

  • Written by TCA

KABUL (TCA) — The chairman of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline project, Muhummet Murat Amanov, said on July 6 that Turkmenistan’s state gas company Turkmengaz has completed its evaluation phase of the project and has started laying the pipeline in the Turkmen territory, Afghanistan’s TOLOnews agency reported.

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Tajikistan president urges Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan to speed up CASA-1000 project

  • Written by TCA

DUSHANBE (TCA) — On July 6 Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe hosted a meeting of the Heads of State and Government of participating countries of the Central Asia-South Asia (CASA-1000) electricity transmission project. The meeting was attended by President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, President of Afghanistan Muhammad Ashraf Ghani, Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, and Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

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Road traffic accidents increase dramatically in Kyrgyzstan

  • Written by Chingiz Turdaliyev

BISHKEK (TCA) — Pedestrian safety is becoming a major issue in Kyrgyzstan today. Just now, a few minutes ago before I started to write this article I nearly fell victim to a traffic accident myself: as I started to cross the road at an intersection a car driven at high speed drove through a red light, almost hit me and continued driving as if nothing had happened at all. What seems to be a very serious road traffic offense is now becoming a regular thing on Kyrgyz roads.

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New EU-funded human rights project launched in Tajikistan

  • Written by TCA

DUSHANBE (TCA) — The Delegation of the European Union to Tajikistan has announced the launch of a new project to support human rights in Tajikistan.

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Kyrgyzstan, Mongolian, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and US forces to conduct military exercise

  • Written by TCA

DUSHANBE (TCA) — The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) on July 5 said that security forces from Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and the U.S., as well as observers from Kazakhstan, will conduct the multinational annual Regional Cooperation (RC) 2017 command-post exercise in Dushanbe, Tajikistan from July 10 to 23, 2017.

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