The fifth consultative meeting of Central Asian (CA) heads of state, as the summit was officially called, was held in Dushanbe. For the first time, the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, as well as the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Central Asia, Kakha Imnadze, participated as a guest of honor. Both stressed that they attach special importance to the issues discussed at the summit.
The head of Kyrgyzstan, Sadyr Japarov, who participated in the summit, took the opportunity to hold a bilateral meeting with the host of the event, the President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon. The main topic of the conversation, closed for obvious reasons to the press, was the question of the delimitation and demarcation of the border. The presidents of the two countries, according to the press service of the head of Kyrgyzstan, “stressed the importance of continuing regular political dialogue to strengthen good neighborliness.”
“There are no unsolvable problems, we need political will,” Sadyr Japarov said a little later, at the general assembly. – Our meetings create favorable conditions for maintaining regional dialogue at the highest level and also strengthen mutual trust between states.
Kyrgyzstan, in his words, attaches priority importance to the development of cooperation with all Central Asian countries. And not only economic. It is extremely important for the republic to resolve the growing problems in the water and energy sector and take measures to ensure general security. “I think this has already become clear to everyone,” Sadyr Japarov stressed. “Every year there is less water and the need will increase more and more.”
For his part, the head of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, invited his colleagues to focus on trade and economic cooperation. “It is the main engine of regional integration,” he believes. Official Tashkent, represented by Shavkat Mirziyoyev, advocates “the rapid formation of a full-fledged free trade zone, without exceptions or restrictions” and the adoption of a comprehensive regional program.
The President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, drew the attention of his colleagues to the transit potential of the region, which, according to him, deserves special attention. “This inherently strategic area can become a support point for the rapid development of each of our countries,” he is convinced. “We are witnessing the formation of a new economic geography of the world. Central Asia is located at the crossroads of roads connecting the global North and South, West and East. This is our great advantage, which opens up broad perspectives.”
Meanwhile, the official Ashgabat proposes to consider the issue of creating a Central Asian Chamber of Commerce. But the head of Turkmenistan, Serdar Berdimuhamedov, especially highlights the possibility of energy cooperation between the countries of the region. “We are ready to supply our natural gas and electricity to the Central Asian states and, through their territories, to foreign markets on mutually beneficial terms,” he told his colleagues.
The initiator of the meetings of the heads of state of Central Asia was the President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev. He announced a corresponding initiative at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in 2017.