Central Asia Geopolitical Watch – from October 8 to October 14, 2022

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

10/09/2022: Kyrgyzstan announces cancellation of CSTO military exercises planned on its territory – Paul Dza – 

On 9 October, the Kyrgyz Ministry of Defence announced the cancellation of the Russian-led CSTO military exercises that were to take place in the country this week. No reason was given for the cancellation, according to the Kyrgyz website

The Indestructible Brotherhood – 2022 exercise was scheduled for 10-14 October, and was to involve the militaries of six CSTO members – Belarus, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Armenia – as well as five other states, including Serbia, Syria and Uzbekistan.

Kyrgyzstan was involved in deadly clashes with Tajikistan, also a CSTO member, along the border between the two countries in September, after which it asked the CSTO to play an active role in resolving the conflict. According to Radio Free Europe RL, Kyrgyz lawmakers reportedly objected to Tajikistan being allowed to participate in the exercises.

10/12/2022: Head of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani hold talks in a narrow format – Aliya Yechshanova – 

On 10 of October, president Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev held a meeting with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, according to the Akorda press service.

The head of state expressed his gratitude to the emir for accepting his invitation and visiting Kazakhstan. The President noted the importance of developing international relations.

“Today we plan to reach agreements on the most important issues of bilateral relations. The state of Qatar is the most important partner for us in the Middle East. Therefore, we are ready to put all our efforts into further development of our relations,” Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said.

Also, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev presented the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani the highest state award of the Republic of Kazakhstan – the Order of Altyn Kyran. In turn, the Emir of Qatar stressed that his country and Kazakhstan have good and strong relations.

“In recent years, our contacts have been progressively developing in a variety of areas. Today, in the framework of the state visit, we will discuss the implementation of agreements reached during the economic forum held in Doha in June. These agreements are aimed at developing cooperation in a number of areas. These issues with the participation of relevant ministers will be comprehensively addressed in the framework of negotiations in an enlarged format. I would also like to wish success to the Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia to be held tomorrow,” said Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, said that he was pleased to visit our country for the second time and thanked Kassym-Jomart Tokayev for presenting the highest award of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

10/12/2022 – President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, makes an official visit to Tajikistan – Jérémie Patot –

On October 11 and 12, President Lukashenko paid an official visit to Tajikistan to strengthen economic, trade and political cooperation between Dushanbe and Minsk, according to the official Belarus and Khovar news agencies. He was welcomed by Prime Minister of Tajikistan Kahir Rasulzoda. To then meet President Emomali Rahmon.

The meeting was of an economic and commercial nature, Asia-Plus reports that the two delegations negotiated and signed 10 new documents relating to the continuation of friendly cooperation, the development of commercial and economic relations, the creation of joint ventures, cooperation in the fields of education, science and new technologies, and regional security.

This visit takes place in the context of the economic and political ostracization of Belarus by the European Union since in particular its participation in the Russian aggression on Ukraine. Heavily dependent on Russia, which is also affected by sanctions, Minsk seems to be seeking to strengthen its economic and commercial partners; while the countries of Central Asia, including Tajikistan, seek to distance themselves from Russia, by diversifying their commercial and diplomatic relations while sparing Moscow. These agreements allow Minsk to still access the Tajik market which is not subject to sanctions, and Dushanbe to send friendly signals to Moscow, despite the silence of the Tajik authorities.

10/14/2022: The organization of the economic cooperation of the Caspian: an economic opening for the countries of Central Asia -Tristan Jarraud –

On October 6, 2022, the Islamic Republic of Iran announced its willingness to get closer to Russia and members of the Caspian Economic Forum, which includes Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.  The idea of this organization is to create more relations between these countries and make the Caspian Sea a strategic place.

In this sense, the Iranian deputy foreign minister for economic diplomacy to declare, according to Taghrib News : “Elsewhere in his remarks, he referred to the needs of some Caspian Sea littoral states for services and technical and engineering goods, including construction materials and automotive parts, and called on officials to take advantage of the opportunity created by the search for export target markets in the field of supplying products required by neighboring states.”

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