Kazakhstan’s President Commends Growing Cooperation Between Central Asian States

photo: Akorda.kz

On May 16, Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev hosted the first meeting in Astana of Security Council secretaries from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and the military attaché of the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Kazakhstan.

In his opening address, Tokayev announced that the aim of the meeting was to provide an effective platform for the collaborative prevention of external and internal challenges and threats, and to develop necessary response measures.

The Kazakh leader began by noting the steady growth of trade and economic cooperation between the Central Asian countries and stated that over the past five years, intraregional trade  had risen by 80 percent to exceed $10 billion.  He explained that large regional projects not only bring tangible mutual benefits, but also change the entire configuration of the Central Asian economy. The development of transport and logistics potential is becoming a new reference point for the rapid development of the region. Cultural and humanitarian ties have also intensified, contributing to the further rapprochement of the Central Asian states.

Returning to the pressing issue of the need to join forces in countering transboundary challenges and threats, he announced: “First of all, we are talking about the fight against international extremism and terrorism, drug trafficking, and arms trafficking. In this regard, Afghanistan must be the focus of our common attention. Complex multidirectional processes are now evident in this country. Whilst signs point to a stabilization and revival of the economic situation, there remain high risks associated with the activity of international terrorist organizations, as evidenced by the bloody terrorist attack in the Moscow region [in March]. In our opinion, one of the strategic tasks at present is the active involvement of Afghanistan in regional ties. And for this, much depends on the coordinated position of our countries. We consider it urgent to create a UN Regional Center for Sustainable Development Goals for Central Asia and Afghanistan in our country.”

Tokayev expressed his satisfaction with the growing regional cooperation and mutual trust and concluded:  “Some 10 years ago, there was no such situation in the Central Asian region. Now heads of state, heads of government, secretaries of the Security Councils, heads of law enforcement agencies, not to mention heads of economic departments, closely interact with each other. And this is a very good sign that the situation in the Central Asian region is moving towards sustainable development.”



Times of Central Asia

Times of Central Asia

Laura Hamilton MA, is the former Director of the Collins Gallery at the University of Strathclyde. She first visited Kyrgyzstan in 2011 to research and curate a major exhibition of contemporary textiles and fashion. Since 2012, she has worked as an editor on over thirty translations of Central Asian novels and collections of short stories. In more recent years, her work has focused on editing translations of Kyrgyzstan's great epics -'Ak Moor', Saiykal', Janysh Baiysh', 'Oljobai and Kishimjan', 'Dariyka', 'Semetey' and 'Er Toshtuk' for The Institute of Kyrgyz Language and Literature, and the Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University.

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