Central Asia states confirm commitment to regional cooperation
BISHKEK (TCA) — The foreign ministers of Central Asia countries said they had agreed to increase cooperation against international terrorism and religious extremism after a meeting in the Kyrgyz resort city of Cholpon-Ata held on July 20-22.
The foreign ministers represented Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Turkmenistan was represented by a deputy foreign minister.
"The sides pointed out that cooperation against international terrorism and extremism, drug trafficking, transnational organized crime, and other regional threats and challenges, including within the framework of international and regional organizations, should be enhanced," a joint statement issued after the meeting said.
The ministers "underscored that favorable conditions should be created to strengthen trade and economic ties and to boost trade," the statement added.
The ministers reiterated that expanding the region’s transit capacity will help to strengthen economic cooperation, develop the transport infrastructure, and launch transit cargo flows through transport communication routes of the regional countries.
The ministers also spoke for a comprehensive use of water and energy resources of Central Asia taking into account the interests and needs of all states in the region.
The Uzbek Foreign Minister, Abdulaziz Kamilov, invited his counterparts to take part in a regional economic forum of Central Asian countries scheduled for October, RFE/RL reported.
The foreign ministers looked to help set the agenda for the regular meeting of Central Asian heads of state scheduled to take place in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, in March 2019.