23 July, 2018

Central Asian FMs discuss regional coop issues in Cholpon-Ata

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Foreign Ministers Kairat Abdrakhmanov of Kazakhstan, Erlan Abdyldayev of Kyrgyzstan, Sirojiddin Mukhriddin of Tajikistan, Abdulaziz Kamilov of Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan's Deputy Foreign Minister Berdiniyaz Myatiyev discussed the issues of regional cooperation in Central Asia in a meeting Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan, the Kazakh MFA press service reported.

"The first Central Asia Heads of State working (consultative) meeting held in Astana in a productive way marked the beginning of a new stage in regional relations. President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev attaches great importance to uniting the potential of Central Asian countries, increasing intra-regional trade, ensuring security in the region, and bringing our nations together," Kairat Abdrakhmanov said.

In his speech, the Kazakh Foreign Minister underlined that regular meetings at the level of foreign ministers should serve as an effective platform for discussion and settlement of shared problems. He proposed to start practical implementation of the Final Protocol of the Astana meeting.

"Central Asia is a nuclear-weapons-free zone, and our region has the opportunity to take the lead in this regard. We need to intensify cooperation between all the nuclear-weapons-free zones of the world," Mr. Abdrakhmanov emphasized. The minister said that the Head of State's initiative to hold the Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones Summit was aimed at securing the role of Central Asia as a unique core of cooperation between the nuclear-free zones. As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Kazakhstan expressed readiness to make efforts in promoting this issue on the UN platform.

During the meeting, the Kazakh side supported the activities of Turkmenistan within its presidency in the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, which is the only institutional dialogue platform in Central Asia at the level of heads of state. The sides raised the issues of regional security and joint fight against transnational challenges and threats. The participants welcomed the contribution of the region's countries to stabilizing the situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the cooperation between the Central Asian countries and the latter state. In this context, Kairat Abdrakhmanov underscored the importance of holding the Regional Conference "Women Empowerment in Afghanistan" in Astana this September and proposed to organize a high-level OSCE conference on Afghanistan in 2019.

The foreign ministers stated the mutual opinion on the importance of organizing meetings in this format for developing common approaches to solving common regional issues and strengthening the five-party cooperation.

It was mentioned that the Central Asian countries' stances on many issues of regional cooperation are very close, and it was suggested to intensify the dialogue of the region's countries. The foreign ministers pointed out the advisability of holding regular five-party inter-ministerial consultations and expert meetings for the preparation of the next Central Asian consultative meeting to be held in Uzbekistan on the eve of Nauryz Holiday in 2019.

The ministers thanked their Kyrgyz counterpart Erlan Abdyldayev and the Kyrgyz side for the successful organization of the five-party meeting. Following the meeting, the sides adopted a joint statement.

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