Checkmate for Empires: Central Asia becoming stronger and more united

For centuries Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan have been a crossroads between East and West. They still are.
Central Asia is not only a geographical and geopolitical, but also a single cultural and civilizational region. People living in the region unite common spiritual values, a single historical past, similar national traditions and customs, centuries-old mentality. This community creates a strong and reliable foundation for regional cooperation.
After the collapse of Soviet Union, for many years Central Asia has been a geopolitical chessboard. The superpowers of today have had and still have much at stake in Central Asia. Under the motto “bringing democracy and stability to Central Asia”, they have tried to take control over the region.
And partly they were successful in this due to let’s say, not ideal cooperation between the countries of the region. Complicated border negotiations and unsolved water-related issues in Central Asia along with the incitement of "goodwill friends" to friendship between countries somehow have served for the interests of world hegemons…
Many were skeptical when Shavkat Mirziyoyev said that Central Asian regional relations would be one his priorities, if to be exact, “We always remain committed to adopting an open, friendly and pragmatic position toward our immediate neighbors –Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan.” This address was delivered in September 8, 2016, in the first day of Mirziyoyev's interim presidency...
Mirziyoyev’s statement was not just a declaration. From the first days of his presidency, President Mirziyoyev has taken significant steps towards rapprochement with neighbors and resolving longstanding regional problems that have had a negative impact on the lives of ordinary citizens. Mirziyoyev has met with all Central Asian leaders, and made state and working visits to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. A visit to Tajikistan is planned in the near future.
Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan concluded a Treaty on strategic partnership and agreed to open railway and automobile bridges across the Amu-Darya, thus realizing an important part of the Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman transportation and communication route.
Meetings between the Uzbek and Kazakh leaders have also produced unprecedented results, not least the adoption of a Joint Declaration on the further deepening of the strategic partnership and strengthening of good-neighborly relations, a “Road Map” for joint activities. For the first time in their history, the two countries arranged business forums resulting in the conclusion of trade contracts and investment agreements worth a total of about US$ 1.2 billion.
During the President’s visit to Kyrgyzstan in September this year, the two states signed a Treaty on the State Border between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan for the first time in 26 years. The parties agreed on the delimitation of more than 85 percent of the border, amounting to a breakthrough in the resolution of accumulated points of contention between the two countries. The agreement on delimitating most of the border with Kyrgyzstan not only serves to resolve a bilateral disputes, but removes the acute conflict potential from the entire regional agenda, lowers the risk of interethnic clashes, and contributes to an increase in the level of political trust between countries.
Flights between Tashkent and Dushanbe were suspended in 1992. On November 2016 state bodies of two countries signed an agreement for flights to resume between the two countries for the first time in 24 years. Under the agreement twice-weekly flights between Dushanbe and Tashkent serviced by Uzbekistan Airlines and Tajikistan’s Somon Air resumed in April, 2017.
Today there are no unresolved issues between Uzbekistan and neighboring Central Asian countries — not territorial, not with the borders, not with politics or the economy. The pages of relations are being filled with good deeds that will benefit region’s peoples.
An International Conference on Security and Sustainable Development "Central Asia: Shared past and common future, cooperation for sustainable development and mutual prosperity", has been held on November 10-11, 2017 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan has shown to the world that Central Asia becoming stronger and more united.
During the conference there have been discussed specific areas for enhancing cooperation between Central Asian countries in the political, trade-economic, investment, transport-communication, water-energy, environmental and cultural-humanitarian spheres, as well as issues of joint struggle against modern threats and challenges.
Participants of the Conference welcomed the initiative on holding consultative meetings of the Heads of Central Asian states for maintaining regular open dialogue and developing mutually acceptable approaches on contemporary regional issues. The first meeting of the heads of Central Asia in this format will be held in Kazakhstan next year during the celebration of Navruz.
On the sidelines of the Samarkand conference, there has been signed Program of cooperation among the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan for the years of 2018-2019.
The proposal on drafting a mutually agreed UN General Assembly Resolution by the Central Asian states on enhancing regional and international cooperation to ensure security, peace and sustainable development in the Central Asian region has been fully supported in the conference…
As has been told in the conference by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Central Asian countries have already become independent and stronger – a partner for the East and for the West, and not the chessboard for some Great Game among empires.
We can add that becoming stronger and more united Central Asia is checkmate for Empires, who still want to dominate in the region…
Dilmurod Jumaboyev

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