Friday, December 3, 2021

Uzbekistan, a pragmatic political approach in a new Central Asia

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Already a hub for regional development, Uzbekistan is becoming the driving force of strong regional reforms. Agreements in abolishing chemical weapons, as well as other agreements reached in water, energy and border issues are on top of the regional political agenda.

Adding to Uzbekistan’s political agenda, the situation in Afghanistan has become a key element of the International Media Meeting today in Tashkent.

Leveraging its crucial geographical position, Uzbekistan has turned into a regional leader and a driving force of changes in Central Asia. The new regional and international political approach of the country entails an open borders policy, pragmatic economic cooperation, efforts to become a centre of transport and communication, as well as the creation of a new spirit of regional cooperation based on several agreements concerning water, energy and border management. Moreover, further agreements are in the pipeline.

Fully integrated Afghanistan into Central Asia’s economy is a top priority for Uzbekistan’s Government and a must for the region.

International Media Meeting, Tashkent.

“Uzbekistan is creating a strong civil society with open borders policy” said Sidikov Furkat Akhmedovic, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, talking about one of the country’s priorities. “This is time for a new cooperation in Central Asia, through a goodwill political priority approach. A lot of achievements have been reached and a lot is still to be done. Our position in Central Asia is of crucial importance now.”

Among the government’s priority are the following:

  • Create a new model of economic cooperation, a new treaty to remove obstacles in the creation of new business ventures.
  • Increase the role of the Silk Road, with the construction of new roads, improving access to the Caspian Sea ports.
  • Termez, will be a turning point to develop new projects with Afghanistan, which now is representing a five millions market but that will increase to 100 millions in the years to come.
  • “The Afghanistan factor is actually a security and economy issue for the word. At the same time, political stability in the country is of high importance for the region. Uzbekistan. has a good neighbour approach and we are actually cooperating during this difficult time with Afghanistan.”
  • “Afghanistan will not be left behind or alone, at the moment we are fostering cooperation and supporting humanitarian projects to help Afghanistan in the water, energy and food sectors. This is a mayor priority for Uzbekistan.”
  • “Afghanistan is the bridge to reach the Indian Sea and the ports. Termez is becoming the logistic centre where we are working together with UN in refugees’ assistance. Now there is there a high-level delegation working in Termez to restore Afghanistan’s airports.”
  • “50% of the population in the area are women which it is important to acknowledge. We also started a people diplomacy program reaching out to the population to integrate both men and women into the economic system. We are also working strongly with the new generation and we are actually preparing the Central Asia Young Forum, which integrate the youngest populations into the development process of Central Asia with a new vision.”
  • “Increasing agricultural production in one of our priorities focuses. We are expanding cooperation, organizing and monitoring producing, transportation and quality controls in Uzbekistan and in the region.”
  • “Treaties on ecological issues and green economy regional treaties are also being reached.” stated Mr. Akhmedovic.

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