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Significant Political Events in Central Asia over the week

The middle of June in Central Asia was marked by sequence of major political events. The region became the center of the world’s media attention for a while. The inauguration ceremony of the new president of Kazakhstan took place; Bishkek and Dushanbe organized international summits and welcomed distinguished guests.

The analytical platform CABAR.asia presents a brief overview of the most recent significant political events in the region.


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The Inauguration of the President of Kazakhstan

On June 12, Nur-Sultan officially hosted the inauguration of Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as President of Kazakhstan.

A little earlier, on June 10, the day after the early presidential elections, the Central Election Committee of Kazakhstan announced Tokayev’s victory. The new president received 70 percent of the country’s votes.

Tokayev had justified such a quick inauguration ceremony to journalists that in the upcoming days he should attend major international events in Bishkek and Dushanbe, where he should already be embodied with the full powers of the country’s president.

Tokayev identified ten key areas in his ceremony speech, the implementation of which should start immediately. These included raise in incomes and well-being of the population, effective war against corruption, judicial and legal reform, fair social policy, finding solutions for housing problem, development of regions, a balanced and compound foreign policy, as well as supporting young people in Kazakhstan.

In total, 2500 people took part in the ceremony. At the end of the inauguration ceremony, the ceremonial parade was demonstrated by several types of troops and forces of Kazakhstan before the new head of state.  

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Xi Jinping’s State Visit to Kyrgyzstan

On June 12, the president of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Xi Jinping, arrived to Bishkek on a state visit. The president of Kyrgyz Republic, Sooronbay Jeenbekov, personally met the PRC president at the “Manas” airport.

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A ceremony marking the official visit of the heads of two states took place during the next day, on June 13. At the meeting with heads of the state in an enlarged lineup, Jeenbekov noted that the third meeting with the president of China during the current year is a sign of high level and active dynamics of strategic cooperation between the two countries. The head of Kyrgyzstan had confirmed the position of the Kyrgyz Republic on the “Taiwan question”, stating that Taiwan is an integral part of the PRC. Jeenbekov added that Kyrgyzstan has a joint stance with China on the war against terrorism, extremism and separatism.

In turn, Xi Jinping noted the changes that are taking place in Kyrgyzstan and expressed readiness for further development and building up mutually beneficial cooperation for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries.

As a result of negotiations, the two heads of state signed a number of documents, including the Joint Declaration in deepening relations and a comprehensive strategic partnership between Kyrgyzstan and China.

 Jeenbekov awarded Xi Jinping the first degree “Order of Manas”, for his outstanding contribution to the strengthening of a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

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Within the framework of the PRC president’s state visit, a Kyrgyz-Chinese business forum was held in between.

In addition, Xi Jinping attended a scheduled meeting of the Council of Heads of States members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which took place in Bishkek.

Summit of Heads of States of the SCO in Bishkek

A meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was conducted in Bishkek on June 13-14.

The SCO consists of eight participating countries, four observer countries and six dialogue partners. The SCO member countries, namely China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, account for more than 20 percent of the world economy and 40 percent of the world’s population.

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The focus of the main topics were directed towards expanding cooperation within the SCO framework, in the field of security, war against terrorism and drug trafficking, economic development, industry and humanitarian cooperation.

In addition, bilateral meetings of the heads of state were also held on the fields of the SCO. One of the intrigues of the current SCO summit was how the leaders of India and Pakistan will behave. Relations between the two countries are now at a very low level due to the protracted conflict in the past few months. The SCO platform is the first place where the leaders of the two countries first met since the beginning of tensions between the countries. Narendra Modi and Imran Khan retained the status quo and did not hold a bilateral meeting.

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As a result of the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states, more than twenty joint documents were signed. The next SCO summit will be held in Russia, in the city of Chelyabinsk.

Xi Jinping’s State Visit to Tajikistan

On June 14, the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, arrived in the capital of Tajikistan on a state visit to attend the Fifth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia. President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon met the Chinese guest with greetings at the ramp.

The next day, on June 15, at an extended meeting of the two states’ representatives, issues related to relations and cooperation between the two countries, as well as relevant regional and international issues were discussed.

The “One Belt – One Way” initiative and the effective implementation of the “Program of Cooperation between Tajikistan and China” were identified as an important factor in achieving the goals of Tajikistan’s national development strategy for the period up to 2030.

The parties also discussed the traditional topics of cooperation against terrorism, extremism and separatism, as well as organized transnational crime, drug trafficking and cybercrime.

As a result of the Chinese leader’s state visit, 18 documents were signed in various areas of cooperation.

For outstanding achievements in strengthening interstate relations between the two countries, Emomali Rakhmon awarded the President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping with the state award of Tajikistan – first degree “Order of Zarintodzh”.  

After the meetings and negotiations were completed, the ceremony of removing the covers from the project of the erected buildings of the Parliament and the Government of Tajikistan, which were built with the financial support of China, was held.

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CICA Summit in Dushanbe

On June 15, the fifth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) took place in Dushanbe.

The CICA Summit is an international forum established to ensure peace, security and stability in Asia, which brings together 27 states. Eight more states and five international organizations have observer status.

The summit was attended by the presidents of ten countries – Russia, China, Iran, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh, Turkey and Sri Lanka, as well as the Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah, and representatives of various delegations from Asian countries and international organizations.

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As a result of the meeting, the Declaration of the Fifth Summit of the “Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia was adopted – a shared vision on a safer and more prosperous CICA region.”

Israel opposed paragraphs that dealt with certain issues in the Middle East.


This article was prepared as part of the Giving Voice, Driving Change – from the Borderland to the Steppes Project implemented with the financial support of the Foreign Ministry of Norway. The opinions expressed in the article do not reflect the position of the editorial or donor.

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