Astana (EFE) influence.
The foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are with the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, who arrived in the Kazakh capital today on his first visit to the country and who has conveyed to all his counterparts in bilateral meetings Washington’s support for its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
Kazakh Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tleuberdi said at the start of the meeting, known as C5+1, that he hopes to hear from his counterparts their views on the current global crisis of energy prices, food prices, migration, the fight against terrorism.
The C5+1 platform, he said, “brings together our countries in search of strengthened economic and trade connectivity, and to better face common challenges.”
“It is important for us to work on the development of new alternative trade routes, as we restore interrupted supply chains,” said the head of Kazakh diplomacy, welcoming his colleagues.
Blinken conveys to Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan support for their sovereignty
Prior to the summit, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met separately with his counterparts from Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan to whom he expressed Washington’s support for their countries’ sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. , both close allies of Russia.
“I want to say that we are proud of the association that we have built in the last 30 years with Kyrgyzstan,” said the head of US diplomacy at the beginning of his meeting with the Kyrgyz foreign minister, Jeenbek Kulubaev.
After expressing the US commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Kyrgyzstan, Blinken indicated that Washington seeks to continue deepening cooperation to “promote democratic values, economic prosperity and regional connectivity.”
“I want to confirm that the United States has been and will be a key foreign partner for Kyrgyzstan,” said the Kyrgyz minister, who thanked the US for help over the past three decades.
In his meeting with Turkmen Foreign Minister Rasit Meredov, after endorsing Turkmenistan’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, Blinken indicated that the US wants to do more together with Ashgabat “to address not only some of the regional challenges, but also also global challenges such as climate change”.
For his part, Meredov expressed his gratitude to Blinken for the opportunity to “discuss important issues related to bilateral cooperation, as well as some of a regional and international order.
the ukrainian war
At the joint meeting, the US Secretary of State will talk with his counterparts about “the search for solutions to global challenges”, in a veiled reference to the Russian war in Ukraine, in the face of which most Central Asian countries advocate a diplomatic solution and defends territorial integrity.
However, the five former Soviet countries either abstained or did not vote on the UN General Assembly resolution adopted last week urging Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine and end the war.
Russia maintains its influence in the region, both from a political, economic and military point of view with different regional alliances.
Russia has military bases in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and sent troops to Kazakhstan in January 2022 under the umbrella of the post-Soviet Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) alliance to respond to violent protests that broke out in that country.
Furthermore, China is trying to expand its role in the region. It is not for nothing that Chinese President Xi Jinping made his first trip abroad in almost two years to Samarkand, in Uzbekistan, last September in order to participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit and hold bilateral meetings. .