On 28 February 2023, the US Secretary of State and the Foreign Ministers of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan met in Astana in the C5+1 format.
The joint statement, adopted following the ministerial, highlights three blocks of issues considered during the gathering.
In support of economic cooperation, the participants of the C5+1 format discussed to mitigate the negative consequences of recent international developments, especially in the areas of energy and food prices, debt management, and employment rates, in a manner that enhances inclusive economic growth.
They also stressed their commitment to collective work to mitigate the unintended consequences of sanctions for the C5+1 countries, and considered ways to strengthen regional and foreign economic ties, including expanding trade opportunities under the USAID Trade in Central Asia program.
Within the framework of the energy and environmental agenda, the parties expressed readiness for cooperation in the field of introducing water-saving technologies and improving skills of water specialists; reiterated the critical need to advance their collective and country commitments to address the climate crisis; reaffirmed the significant potential for more regional collaboration in areas such as increasing the use of renewable energy and methane abatement; expressed readiness to actively support projects to improve the climate resilience of vulnerable sectors and transition towards a low-carbon and “green” economy, etc.
The statement also welcomes the Ministerial Conference on Food Security and Climate Change to be held on 10 March 2023 in Ashgabat, and the UN Conference on Water Resources, co-hosted by Tajikistan on 22-24 March 2023 in New York.
In terms of security cooperation, the statement implies a commitment to collaboration in the fight against terrorism, as well as support for C5+1 projects on regional border security and safe migration.
The United States and Central Asian countries welcomed the UN’s declaration of 2023 as the International Year of Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace and the launch of the C5+1 Regional Border Security Program.
The full text of the statement can be found here: https://www.state.gov/joint-statement-on-the-c51-ministerial-in-astana/
///nCa, 10 March 2023