CICA took part in the International Conference “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity. Challenges and Opportunities” held on July 15-16 in Tashkent, сapital of Uzbekistan.
The Conference was attended by the President of Uzbekistan, the President of Afghanistan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, foreign ministers and high representatives of the countries of Central and South Asia, other foreign states, heads of international and regional organizations, including CICA Executive Director Kairat Sarybay.
At the plenary and breakout sessions, participants discussed opportunities and initiatives aimed at further strengthening regional connectivity in trade and economic, transport and communication, cultural and humanitarian areas.
“Connectivity, cooperation, dialogue and, most importantly, trust are the driving force for ensuring stability and sustainable development, improving the standard of living and well-being of the peoples of our regions”, - said President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev in his welcoming remarks. These basic principles arealso guided by CICA in its activities.
In his speech at the plenary session, Mr. Sarybay noted that connectivity was a trend of the 21st century and that CICA would continue to keep connectivity issues high on its agenda.
On the margins of the Conference, the Executive Director held a meaningful meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov, where the sides discussed the progress of preparations for the 6th CICA Ministerial Meeting, increasing CICA’s international standing and strengthening its capacity for a higher degree of interaction.
“The accession of Turkmenistan to CICA as an observer in June 2021 highlighted the relevance of the platform in the region”, - said the Executive Director at the meeting with Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov. The counterparts discussed the need to adapt CICA to new realities and the prospects for Turkmenistan’s active neutrality on the CICA platform.
At meetings with Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Central Asia Natalia Gherman and Secretary General of the Turkic Council Baghdad Amreyev, the Executive Director discussed issues of interaction and further development of cooperation.
The main goal of the Conference was to strengthen historically close and friendly ties, trust and good-neighborliness between Central and South Asia in the interests of all peoples and countries of both regions, most of which are CICA Member States.