Pakistani President to boost cooperation with Tajikistan & Uzbekistan

Pakistani President Nawaz Sharif met with Uzbek President Islam Karimov and signed a series of documents aimed at closer cooperation with Uzbekistan. The two leaders signed multiple memorandums of understanding, and finance ministers signed a protocol to increase bilateral cooperation and prevent double taxation. Sharif met last weekend with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon to reach…

Central Asia faces water shortage due to environmental and political reasons

Water in Central Asia is becoming not just a vital natural resource but a political tool as well. Water security is becoming an increasingly important issue as winter approaches in Central Asia due to both environment and political reasons. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan serve as major sources of water for downstream countries. While lacking the hydrocarbon resources, they are mountainous…

Secretary Kerry begins Central Asia tour

US Secretary John Kerry arrived in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on October 31 to begin his tour of all five countries of Central Asia. He met with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev, Uzbek President Islam Karimov and all five Central Asian foreign ministers in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on November 1, and Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana, Kazakhstan on…

Japan looks to invest in Central Asian energy sector

For the first time since 2006, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe launched a six-day tour in Central Asia with the goal of boosting energy cooperation in the region. Tokyo is believed to be on the edge of the implementation of a new policy for increasing its presence in Central Asia, ostensibly aimed to counter China’s…

Kazakhstan faces a prolonged economic crisis

Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev stated that the country is facing a crisis worse than that of 2007-2008, as he charged the government with drawing up an anti-crisis plan on October 19. Nazarbayev forecast that the country’s economic situation would not face an upturn soon, citing decreasing prices for natural gas and other resources exported from…

Iran hopes for Sanctions relief by the end of 2015

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator expressed hopes that an agreement will be reached on Iran’s rollback of its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief before the end of the year. Negotiator Abbas Araqchi’s comments came a day after US President Obama approved sanctions waivers on October 18, the symbolic implementation day for the nuclear deal…