Central Asia Geopolitical Watch – from September 17 to September 23, 2022

Central Asia Watch Team: Sophie Marc, Aliya Yechshanova, Paul Dza

09/18/2022 : Tajik-Kyrgyz border clashes escalate this week – Sophie MARC – 

Last week, the two countries had already blamed each other for several clashes on the border that left at least two dead and twelve injured. The clashes resumed this week despite a ceasefire agreed on 16 September – the two countries also accused each other of having violated it on several occasions.

Kyrgyzstan said 59 people had been killed in the violence and 139 injured in the southwestern oblast of Batken, which borders Tajikistan. The latter said 35 Tajiks were killed – mostly civilians, according to the statement – and 25 were injured. In total, the death toll is estimated to be at least 80 people.

These clashes are the worst that the two countries have seen since April 2021, when fighting left more than 50 people dead, raising fears that the conflict could spread. Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose country traditionally plays the role of referee in this conflict, has called for de-escalation. The situation seems to have stabilised since Sunday with the conclusion of a new agreement on Monday 19 September.

09/21/2022: The Prime Minister of Kazakhstan and the President of the United Arab Emirates discuss the prospects for deepening investment cooperation – Aliya Yechshanova – 

During a working visit to the Emirates, Kazakh Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov held talks with Emirati leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on September 20. The sides exchanged views on further fruitful strengthening of mutually beneficial cooperation in priority areas.

“We intend to further strengthen full-scale cooperation in all areas of the economy of mutual interest. We are also grateful to the United Arab Emirates for its continued and unwavering support for Kazakhstan’s international initiatives. We would also like to note that in recent years there has been a steady increase in the number of joint projects in various sectors”, – said the Kazakh politician.

Alikhan Smailov stressed that Kazakhstan sees a large untapped potential for further expansion of investment cooperation. He also said that the Government would provide full support to investors in their initiatives and hoped that the parties would soon be able to launch new common projects.

In addition, the head of the government of the republic of Kazakhstan expressed gratitude to Zayed Al Nahyan for the assistance in the amount of 1 million US dollars, directed to the restoration of forests in the Kostanay region after major fires.

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