Central Asia Geopolitical Watch – from October 1 to October 7, 2022

Central Asia geopolitical watch team : Jérémie Patot, Aliya Yechshanova, Paul Dza

10/03/2022 – The Kyrgyz parliament wants to arm the inhabitants of the border districts with Tajikistan, despite efforts to calm the border -Jeremie Patot-

On October 3, the Kyrgyz parliament discussed a bill that would allow the supply of weapons to residents of border districts with Tajikistan. This bill is part of a rise in persistent tensions between Bishkek and Dushanbe, despite the signing of a border stabilisation protocol signed on September 25 by the leaders of the State Committee for National Security of Tajikistan, Saimumin Yatimov and from Kyrgyzstan, Kamchibek Tashiev. This dematerialization protocol was signed following the intense clashes between border guards from September 14 to 17, 2022. 

The border region between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan is plagued by regular clashes and conflicts, the penultimate to date is April 2021. The border is not clearly demarcated since the fall of the USSR, and it crosses the Fergana Valley, a very fertile region in two arid and mountainous countries. This year, nearly a hundred deaths were distributed on both sides; the clashes were particularly intense with new weapons such as drones.

AKIpress reports that the two sides have agreed on a protocol to remove 3 checkpoints and 1 border base from both sides, a withdrawal of troops from the borderline in essence. And during the meeting, the parties discussed the work of the border demarcation and delimitation commission and decided to speed up its activity, according to Asia-Plus.

But these efforts of stability and demilitarisation of the border are likely to be in vain, the ministries of Foreign Affairs are always virulent in their speeches towards the other party. During the UN plenary meeting, the ministers accused each other of violating the protocol. The Tajik Foreign Minister told the Khovar Agency that on September 21, a Kyrgyz drone allegedly violated Tajik airspace. On September 26, according to Asia-Plus, a grenade exploded in front of a school in a border village, without an official explanation of this event.

10/04/2022: The head of Uzbekistan held a meeting with the Hungarian president- Aliya Yechshanova – 

The press office of the Uzbek President reported on the official visit of the Uzbek Head of State Shavkat Mirziyoyev with President Catalina Novak to Sándor Palace in Budapest on 4 October.

After the welcoming ceremony on the square in front of the Hungarian parliament, the Uzbek leader left a memorable entry in the Book of Honoured Guests.

Following that, a lively exchange of views on the current state and prospects of Uzbek-Hungarian relations took place. The heads of state discussed issues pertinent to bolstering strategic cooperation, including at the level of parliaments and public organizations. The sides noted the deep historical and cultural ties between the two peoples, and in particular the role of oriental scholars like Armini Vamberi and Ibrahim Ishak Ibrahim in studying the cultural heritage of Uzbekistan and Hungary.

Trade, economic and investment spheres have been singled out as the most important areas of bilateral cooperation. The establishment of Uzbek-Hungarian inter-governmental commission on economic cooperation and Uzbek-Hungarian business council have been instrumental in this regard. It has also been said that inclusion of Uzbekistan in the EU GSP+ preferential scheme will open up additional opportunities for expansion and diversification of mutual trade.

In the field of cultural and humanitarian exchange, the Hungarian government decided to increase to 170 annual quotas for students and doctoral candidates from Uzbekistan under the Hungarian Hungarian-Hungarian programme, and a second Uzbek-Hungarian forum of university rectors is also planned. 

10/06/2022 : Amanat party names Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as presidential candidate – Paul Dza – 

On the 6th of October, during an extraordinary congress of the Amanat party, its chairman Yerlan Koshanov proposed to nominate the ruling president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as the official candidate for the 20 November presidential election, according to Kazinform and The Astana Times

The day before, several public organisations (the National Volunteer Network, the Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan, the Youth Association of Team Qazaqstan, the Veterans’ Organisation and the Union of Athletes of Kazakhstan) nominated President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to run in the upcoming presidential election.

As a reminder, the early presidential election on 20 November was announced by Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in a major reform speech in early September. 

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