VIF News Digest: Central Asian Republics (CARs), South Caucasus and Mongolia (Vol 1 Issue III)

16-30 November 2017

CSTO Collective Security Council Session Concludes in Minsk

Session of the Collective Security Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) took place in Minsk on November 30. Presidents of all six member states, namely Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and CSTO Secretary General Yury Khachaturov, participated in the session. The year 2017 marks a jubilee year of the 25th anniversary of the Collective Security Treaty (CST) and 15th anniversary of the establishment of CSTO. Several documents were signed following the talks; including an agreement on cooperation in information security, a joint statement on the situation in Syria, as well as a decision to counter illegal migration. Eurasian leaders also discussed implementation plan for the CSTO Collective Security Strategy through 2025.

New Kyrgyz President Visits Moscow

President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbai Jeenbekov paid a Working Visit to Russia on 29 November. This is his first foreign visit since taking office on 24 November. During visit, Jeenbekov met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The two presidents discussed topical issues of bilateral relationship and prospects of further economic cooperation within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). The Kyrgyz President presented to President Putin the highest award of the Kyrgyz Republic - the Manas Order of the 1st degree. Highlighting the importance of Russia to be chosen for the first foreign visit, he pledged to ‘Strengthen Strategic Partnership’.

Uzbek President Visits South Korea

President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev paid a State Visit to the Republic of Korea on 21-24 November. During visit, he had a one-on-one meeting with the Korean President Moon Jae-in. Negotiations were also held in the expanded format including high-level delegations from both Republics. The sides considered issues of expanding cooperation in trade-economic, investment and cultural-humanitarian spheres. A Joint Statement and as many as 60 inter-governmental agreements amounting for about 8.9 billion USD, were signed at the end of the negotiations. Mirziyoyev also took part in South Korea – Uzbekistan Business Forum.

Kabul- Tashkent Direct Flight Starts

The Afghan carrier Kam Air carried out the first ever direct Kabul to Tashkent passenger flight on 29 November. This new twice a week flight is part of the cooperation in civil aviation between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. Islam Karimov International Airport in Tashkent shall also serve as the transit point for Kam Air passengers to connect to European countries. Aviation cooperation also includes training of Afghan pilots and maintenance of Kam Air’s aircrafts in Uzbekistan. The first flight took place ahead of the official visit of the President Ashraf Ghani to Uzbekistan on December 4.