President Tokayev Outlines Key Pillars for Central Asian Security

Last Updated on May 17, 2024 3:41 pm

ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev outlined the main pillars to strengthen security cooperation between Central Asian countries and expressed gratitude to neighboring countries for helping Kazakhstan during the massive floods at a May 16 meeting with the Security Council Secretaries of Central Asian countries in Astana, reported the Akorda press service.

Tokayev noted that the first meeting of the Security Council Secretaries of the Central Asian states is intended to become an effective platform for combining efforts to prevent external and internal challenges and threats, as well as developing the necessary response measures.

Measures to bolster regional security and stability

Tokayev highlighted that regional cooperation is effectively developing in all areas. Trade and economic interaction between the countries of the region is steadily expanding. Over the past five years, intraregional trade has grown by more than 80%, exceeding $10 billion. The countries take efforts to increase export-import transactions and expand the range of goods, focusing on the development of transport and logistics.

According to the President, these measures need a productive dialogue in ensuring regional security and stability. He said that most challenges and threats are transboundary in nature, so countering them requires combining common efforts.

“First, we are talking about the fight against international extremism and terrorism, drug trafficking, and arms trafficking. In this regard, Afghanistan should be the focus of our common attention. Complex multidirectional processes are taking place in this country. It must be admitted that there are certain signs of stabilization and revival of the economic situation in this country. On the other hand, there remain high risks associated with the activity of international terrorist organizations,” he said, prioritizing the creation of the United Nations (UN) Regional Center for Sustainable Development Goals for Central Asia and Afghanistan in Kazakhstan.

The President also spoke about the upcoming Sixth Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia, which will be held in Astana on Aug. 9. As chair of the event, Kazakhstan has developed the Central Asia – 2040 strategy for the development of regional cooperation, the adoption of which will have conceptual significance for the region.

Tokayev underlined the high level of regional interaction in the spirit of friendship, good neighborliness and alliance. At the same time, according to him, cooperation is not limited to the region.

“Systematic efforts are being made to enhance comprehensive interaction with external partners. Global players are still quite eager in participating in the Central Asia plus formats, as you are aware,” he said, reiterating the results of the meetings held last year between Central Asia-European Union (EU), Central Asia-China, Central Asia-the United States, Central Asia-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and Central Asia-Germany.

Coordinated efforts and mutual assistance

Tokayev called for coordinated resistance against external powers attempting to incite conflict and split the region’s nations apart.

“I want to assure you that we resolutely reject such approaches and attempts. In general, our countries do not and should not have any questions on which we could not find mutually acceptable solutions. I am convinced that only the synergy of common actions and mutual support can open the way to the prosperity of our fraternal peoples. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to your countries for the fraternal solidarity shown and assistance provided in connection with the floods in Kazakhstan. We highly appreciate this support and consider it as evidence of true friendship, good neighborliness and mutual support,” said Tokayev.

The President expressed confidence that the results of the meeting will contribute to strengthening cooperation between Central Asian countries in security.

“We are pleased to see the significant shift in the circumstances in favor of the growth of mutual trust and cooperation. I can say that the Central Asian region did not have a situation like this 10 years ago. Now heads of state, heads of government, secretaries of security councils, heads of law enforcement agencies, not to mention those people who head economic departments, closely interact with each other. And this is a very good sign that the situation in the Central Asian region is moving towards sustainable development,” the President said.

The event was attended by Secretary of the Security Council of Kazakhstan Gizat Nurdauletov, Secretary of the Security Council of the Kyrgyz Republic Marat Imankulov, Secretary of the Security Council of Tajikistan Nasrullo Mahmudzoda, Secretary of the Security Council of Uzbekistan Viktor Makhmudov and military attaché of the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Kazakhstan Annamyrat Yagmyrov.

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