On 7 September 2022, the inaugural Ministerial Meeting of the GCC-Central Asia Strategic Dialogue was held in Riyadh.
The event was attended by the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
The meeting was chaired by the Saudi minister of foreign affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan, who chairs the current session of the GCC’s Ministerial Council.
Prince Faisal stressed the significance of intensifying joint cooperation between countries in the two regions in light of global challenges. “The areas of cooperation between us are endless, and the ultimate goal is to achieve stability and prosperity for our countries,” he said.
He also emphasized the significance of supporting all initiatives aimed at easing regional and global political tensions while upholding international norms and fostering an environment that will support sustainable economic recovery.
The parties discussed topical issues on the international agenda. Issues of regional security and further steps to establish effective cooperation in trade, economic, investment and cultural spheres were also raised.
They also emphasized the need for agreements which would tackle the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including on recovery of supply chains, transport links, food, energy and water security, the development of green-energy, addressing environmental challenges and climate change, the exchange of best practices in all fields, elaborating appropriate trade and investment mechanisms.
Following the meeting, the ministers adopted a Joint Action Plan for 2023-2027, which covers such areas as politics and security, economy, transport, water resources and energy, education, health, culture, youth and sports.
The GCC+CA Strategic Dialogue is aimed at strengthening the political dialogue between the countries and developing interregional cooperation in the trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres.
The ministers welcomed the invitation of Kazakhstan to host the first Economic Forum of GCC and Central Asian countries in Astana in June 2023.
The next meeting of GCC+Central Asia format will be held next year in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. ///nCa, 8 September 2022