Uzbekistan hosts conference on Central Asia security, economic cooperation

TASHKENT (TCA) — A two-day international conference to discuss ways of boosting security and economic cooperation between Central Asia countries started in Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent on February 19. The conference, “Central Asian connectivity: challenges and new opportunities,” was organized by Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA).

Foreign experts from 36 countries, as well as representatives of leading analytical and scientific structures of Uzbekistan, gathered to exchange views on regional security issues, cooperation in trade and economic spheres, transport and communications, water and environmental issues, energy, tourism, cultural and humanitarian spheres, the Jahon information agency reported.

“The rapprochement of the countries in the Central Asian region is not against anyone’s interests,” Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov said in the opening speech.

“Investing in regional cooperation contributes to developing Central Asia into a stable and prosperous region, thus making it a reliable and predictable partner,” he added.

In her opening speech, Natalia Gherman, special representative of the UN secretary-general and head of the UNRCCA, said that the conference will produce specific recommendations to the presidents of the Central Asian countries, who will gather in Tashkent to discuss common regional issues in April.

“Over the past five years, China has deepened cooperation with Central Asian countries in jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), yielding a series of significant early achievements,” said Qi Zhenhong, president of the China Institute of International Studies, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The BRI has laid the groundwork for the Central Asian countries to strengthen their cooperation. At the same time, Central Asia’s efforts to remove obstacles and strengthen cooperation will also facilitate the BRI. The BRI and Central Asian efforts complement and promote each other,” he added.

On February 20, the conference’s panel sessions’ agendas are “International perception of the new dynamics of regional cooperation: promising areas of cooperation between Central Asia and non-regional countries” and “International experience of regional cooperation and possibilities of its use in Central Asia”, Jahon reports.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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