Forming the Foundation of a Lasting Partnership Between the United States and Central Asia

Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hosted the foreign ministers from the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan at the Department of State for the second ministerial meeting of the C5+1 diplomatic platform.  The C5+1 is a mechanism that brings together the five states of Central Asia and the United States to discuss and collaborate on issues of common interest.  At the first C5+1 ministerial, held in Samarkand in November 2015, the Secretary and five ministers agreed to develop regional projects to improve security, promote economic connectivity, and increase resilience against the impacts of climate change.

At this week's second ministerial meeting, Secretary Kerry and his counterparts from the five Central Asian countries underscored the importance of addressing the modern challenges of economic development, sustainable growth, global security, countering violent extremism, environmental degradation, and addressing climate change.

Hailing the C5+1 as a new and innovative approach to regional cooperation, Secretary Kerry highlighted several efforts designed to protect citizens, build shared prosperity, and strengthen diplomatic ties.  Secretary Kerry noted, "One program that we will do is initiate a dialogue within the Global Counterterrorism Forum to assist Central Asian states in combating radicalization and reduce the threat that is posed by foreign terrorist fighters. A second project is aimed at increasing trade in key sectors of our economies and making our economies more competitive. A third will center on improving the transportation and logistics sectors that are essential to a healthy and a dynamic marketplace. And finally, the U.S. will partner will each of the countries here to develop cleaner renewable energy sources that can power everybody’s future while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and support the countries’ efforts in adaptation planning."

The Secretary then reiterated the United States' support and willingness to partner with the five Central Asian countries on these global issues and, announced that the U.S. will invest $15 million in support of the joint projects.

The Secretary concluded with a reflection on the shared goals of the countries, saying, "Every one of the steps that we are talking about grows out of a fundamental principle of our foreign policy: that we support without hesitation the sovereignty, the territorial integrity, and the independence of each Central Asian state. And all of the states, I believe, and all of the principles that we are organizing around are intended to help form the foundation of a lasting partnership between the United States and your countries."

For more information: 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks at Central Asia Ministerial at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. [State Department Photo].
Posted by DipNote Bloggers
August 5, 2016

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