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Central Asia Geopolitical Watch – From March 5 to March 11, 2022

Central Asia Watch Team : Aliya Yechshanova, Sarah Guérin and Denis Lavaud

03/05/2022: The Presidents of Uzbekistan and Pakistan meet in Islamabad. – Aliya Yechshanova – 

President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev met with President Arif Alvi on 4 March as part of his state visit to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. At the beginning of the meeting, the Presidents of Uzbekistan and Pakistan expressed satisfaction with the development of cooperation, primarily in the economic sphere, noting that the current visit of President Mirziyoyev to Islamabad will be another starting point for further deepening of the Uzbek-Pakistani partnership. The sides noted that over 30 years of relations between Uzbekistan and Pakistan, serious progress has been achieved in a number of important areas. Thus, the trade turnover between the countries shows steady growth, even during the pandemic in 2021, it increased by 50 percent. Uzbekistan and Pakistan also continue to increase cooperation in the scientific and educational sphere, IT technology, and the implementation of youth policy. During the meeting, the initiative of the President of Uzbekistan was voiced to organize scientific and practical meetings on astronomy, astrophysics, physics, mathematics, virology and robotics on a regular basis on the platform of the Standing Committee on Scientific and Technical Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation “COMSTEC”. The two heads of state also exchanged views on some issues of regional and international security, including touching on Afghan issues.

03/09/2022: The visit of the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Vienna strengthens and expands relations with Austria and the OSCE. – Aliya Yechshanova – 

Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vasilenko paid an official visit to the capital of Austria on March 7-8, after which he held talks with representatives of various Austrian departments and ministries, to identify opportunities for further deepening and development of Kazakhstan with Austrian partners and the OSCE. Within the framework of the talks, issues related to the next actions to expand the bilateral partnership at a mutually beneficial level were discussed. In the building of the Austrian Foreign Ministry, the Kazakh politician met with the Secretary General Peter Launsky-Tiffenthal, with whom he discussed issues of bilateral and multilateral cooperation. In this context, the parties also considered the current situation of Ukraine. The Austrian side, in turn, said that the Kazakh Republic is one of the main partners of Austria in the Central Asian region, and also reported on the importance of active cooperation between the countries in the OSCE and the United Nations. Special attention was paid to the strengthening of Kazakh-Austrian cooperation in the field of trade and economy, as well as to the resumption of human and business relations in the period after the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, under the leadership of Roman Vasilenko held a press briefing for representatives of the leading Austrian media. He informed the participants of the meeting about the situation and prospects of bilateral relations, the investigation of the tragic events that took place in Kazakhstan in January, and about the approaches of the republic to the Ukrainian problem.

03/09/2022: Kazakhstan delivers for 2.2 million dollars of humanitarian aid to Ukraine. – Denis Lavaud –

On march 9, Kazakhstan announced its project to deliver humanitarian aid to Ukraine, answering a demand of the Ukrainian government. “The Commission on humanitarian aid of the government has decided to send a 82 tons, 2 251 445 dollars worth convoy” declared the spokesperson of the government of Kazakhstan. The government of Kazakhstan now actively works on the delivery of this convoy which is impossible to send through the Russian-Ukrainian border, and declared working with the neighbour countries of Ukraine in order to fulfill the task.

03/09/2022: Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia develop alternative routes for freight transport. – Denis Lavaud –

Kazakhstan’s Prime minister, Alikhan Smailov, organized on march 9 a crisis centre in order to discuss different questions on trade exchange and transportation. Prime minister Alikhan Smailov talked with his azerbaijnani and georgian counterparts about his wish to set up a transit platform and alternative routes, in order to facilitate kazakh business’ exportations during the war in Ukraine, especially in the concrete industry, light industry and batteries manufacturers. Alikhan Smailov also set up financial aid in order to stimulate the exportations, as well as to support the internal economic market.

03/09/2022: Two kazakh airline companies to stop liaisons with several russian cities. – Denis Lavaud –

The airline companies Air Astana and FlyArystan stopped their liaison with several Russian cities on march 9, following the decision of the Russian companies Aeroflot and S7 to stop their liaison abroad after sanctions were taken by the Western World against Russia to protest against the war in Ukraine. Both companies therefore decided to keep flying to Moscow from Nursultan and Almaty.

03/10/2022 Five new documents signed in Cairo on cooperation between Tajikistan and Egypt. – Sarah Guérin –

On March 10, Tajik Presidents Emomali Rahmon and Egyptian President Abdulfattah Al-Sisi held talks in Cairo on various aspects of Tajik-Egyptian relations. The meeting issued in five agreements that will improve the quality of relations between the two countries in the commercial, economic, scientific, technical, humanitarian and cultural fields. The two presidents noted that the expansion of cooperation in the field of tourism in recent years has been very beneficial to bilateral relations. They also agreed on an intensification of the work of the Tajik-Egyptian intergovernmental commission on economic, scientific and technical cooperation, as well as on the holding of the Tajik-Egyptian Business Forum and the establishment of the Tajik-Egyptian Business Council. They also agreed to organize Culture Days in each other’s countries, to jointly organize major literary and cultural festivals and to exchange experiences between Tajik and Egyptian scientific and educational institutions. Tajikistan and Egypt also expressed their readiness for regional security cooperation, through expanded cooperation in the fight against international terrorism, extremism, illegal trafficking of arms and drugs, cybercrime and transnational organized crime.

03/10/2022 EU and Uzbekistan to launch new cooperation expansion program for 2021-2027. – Sarah Guérin –

The conference on the launch of the new cooperation program for 2021-2027 of the European Union for Uzbekistan was held in Tashkent on March 10. The new program will allocate €83 million for 2021-2024, including €7 million to support civil society and human rights development activities. The program focuses on three priority areas where there is momentum for reform, aligned with European priorities. The first priority is to improve the efficiency of public administration, including the judicial, transport and logistics systems, in order to improve democratic governance, the rule of law and the quality of public services ( 17% of funding). The second priority is a green digital transition (40% of funding). Finally, the third priority is support for agriculture and green growth, in order to modernize the agri-food sector and improve national food security and nutrition (36% of funding). The parties also discussed programs in the area of ​​gender equality, human rights, digitalisation, partnerships with youth and civil society (7% of funding).

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