President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Zhaparov, in his speech at the Fifth Consultative Meeting of the Heads of Central Asian States in Dushanbe, noted that consultative meetings create favorable conditions for maintaining regular dialogue at the highest level, as well as significantly strengthen mutual trust between our states.
“I am confident that our joint work, constant dialogue and communication based on mutual respect, consideration of each other’s interests, in the spirit of good neighborliness, will allow us to overcome all obstacles and difficulties, develop and maintain a sense of community of interests and unity of the peoples who have inhabited our vast and rich region since time immemorial,” the President said.
Sadyr Zhaparov stressed that for the Kyrgyz Republic, priority areas of cooperation in Central Asia include expansion and deepening of trade and economic ties, water and energy sector, diversification and expansion of transport corridors, strengthening transit potential, solving problems of irrigation and land reclamation, expansion of cultural and humanitarian ties, cooperation in the fields of culture tourism, education, the implementation of joint projects, the adoption of coordinated measures to ensure shared security in the region.
The head of state emphasized that the issues of adaptation to climate change, the use of water resources and interaction in the energy sector are becoming increasingly important.
“In winter, electricity consumption has sharply increased in Kyrgyzstan and in neighboring Central Asian countries due to abnormal cold weather, and in summer due to drought and lack of water, there is a widespread shortage of water. I think it has already become obvious to everyone that there will be less and less water every year, and the demand for water will ever increase,” Zhaparov stressed.
For the rational use of water and energy resources of Central Asia, Zhaparov pointed out the need to take drastic, concrete and effective measures, first of all, to attract large-scale investments, both public and private, to the water and water-energy sectors of the countries.
The President of Kyrgyzstan proposes to create a Regional center in Bishkek for the introduction of energy-efficient and resource-saving technologies in the Central Asian region.
“It should be noted that the unresolved water and energy problems in one country may impact the issue of providing water for other Central Asian countries. In this regard, we invite interested countries to join efforts to attract investments and the introduction of modern technologies to the water sector of Kyrgyzstan, as the country is a source of almost half of the region’s water resources. I am sure that this will not only make more efficient use of water and energy resources, but also increase resilience to various natural impacts,” the President said.
At the same time, the President noted that Kyrgyzstan has close trade and economic ties with the countries of Central Asia.
“Our region should become a link between North and South, West and East, while increasing its transport and communication potential and access to seaports,” Sadyr Zhaparov said.
In this regard, Kyrgyzstan believes that optimizing the flow of goods and services across the borders of Central Asia requires simplifying customs procedures and creating efficient transport and logistics networks.
Touching upon the issue of joint response to challenges and threats to regional security, Sadyr Zhaparov said that for Kyrgyzstan, peace and stability in Afghanistan is one of the priority conditions in the regional security system.
At the same time, noting its commitment to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, the Kyrgyz Republic respects the right of the Afghan people to determine the future of their country based on their historical experience, culture, traditions and national identity.
“The Kyrgyz side considers it important to further expand the forms and directions of cooperation in the field of ensuring security in the region and countering such modern threats as terrorism, extremism, cross-border crime, drug trafficking and cybercrime. It is extremely important to develop and ensure a system of collective information security and increase efforts to jointly counter cyber threats, prevent the use of Internet space, social networks by international terrorist, religious extremist and other hostile organizations,” the President of Kyrgyzstan said.
In this context, Zhaparov called close cooperation between the Security Councils and the competent authorities of the Central Asian countries important.
In conclusion, Zhaparov stressed that Kyrgyzstan attaches priority importance to the development of cooperation with the countries of Central Asia. I am convinced that the potential for cooperation is huge, and our cooperation is a solid foundation for ensuring stability, security, peace, development and prosperity in the region and far beyond its borders.
“The current crisis conditions of world politics dictate the need for our countries to cooperate even more closely in order to protect and promote the common interests of the region on the world stage,” the President of Kyrgyzstan concluded. ///nCa, 15 September 2023
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