July 2010

Germany’s Westerwelle says Turkey’s direction is Europe

Germany reiterated its position on Wednesday that it wants Turkey to be bound to Europe but added that it is not yet ready for EU membership. “Turkey's direction is Europe. We place great importance on deepening mutual ties and binding Turkey to Europe,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told a joint news conference after breakfast with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoğlu, in İstanbul.

The US Expands Military Ties with Tajikistan

By Roman Muzalevsky

The US Ambassador to Tajikistan, Ken Gross, announced on June 25 that the US plans to open a military training center in Tajikistan pending the signing of related agreements with the Tajik side. The proposed center, to be located 45 kilometers (km) from the capital, Dushanbe, would provide Tajik armed forces with counternarcotics and antiterrorist training. Gross emphasized that the center, with a price tag of $10 million, did not seek to establish a US military presence in Tajikistan.

In Brussels, Eu Foreign Ministers Discussed Situation In The Western Balkans And Central Asia

Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis attended the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council meeting, during which issues of Sudan and Iran, the Middle East peace process, the situation in the Western Balkans and Central Asia, and relations with the EU's strategic partners - India and Brazil – were discussed.

Actual Tolerance

By Arthur Dunn

On June 29-30, Astana hosted the High-Level OSCE Conference on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination, aimed to help in coping with obligations and promoting the OSCE values related to tolerance, non-discrimination and intercultural dialogue – the key priorities of Kazakhstan's chairmanship in 2010. Over 600 politicians and public figures from dozens of countries have discussed the value of legislative processes, law enforcement bodies, national education systems and mass media in combating public manifestations of intolerance and promoting the idea of mutual understanding through dialogue.

Kyrgyzstan: Positive Developments in the Hydro-Energy Sector

By: Erica Marat

Amid the ongoing instability in southern Kyrgyzstan, and the possibility of renewed violence as the October 10 parliamentary elections approach, the country’s hydro-energy sector shows signs of gradual recovery. The interim government might be able to supply electricity throughout the upcoming cold season and avoid sharp increases in tariffs. Although electricity tariffs will need to be raised eventually, in order to sustain the sector and invest in new hydro-energy projects, the increases could be gradual.