February 2013

Kazakhstan Promotes Central Asian Interests Within OIC

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By Richard Weitz

In recent years, Kazakhstan has made an effort to deepen and expand cooperation with the world’s Islamic community. The focus has been on economic and cultural ties, but political and security issues have also been prominent due to the large number of internal and regional conflicts afflicting Muslim majority countries. Toward this end, in 1995, Kazakhstan joined the Organization for Islamic Conference (OIC), which was established in 1969. Kazakhstan then became the first Central Asian country to chair the organization as the rotating head of its Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) from June 2011 to November 2012.

US, Chinese Plans for Rail Links with Central Asia Triggering ‘Railroad War’ and Reducing Russia’s Influence

By Paul Goble

United States plans to link the countries of Central Asia by new rail lines with Afghanistan. At the same time, Washington opposes neither the construction of a railway corridor from Central Asia through Iran, nor Chinese extensions of its national rail system into the area. Nevertheless, according to analysts at the Moscow Strategic Culture Foundation, these overlapping transportation development projects threaten to spark a new “railroad war” in the Central Asian region—one that in the absence of counter-efforts by the Russian Federation is likely to result in a sharp reduction of Moscow’s influence over the countries there.

Washington Shall Chose Stability

By Nikolay Pakhomov

Yet some time ago American political analysts and reporters actively discussed the “Arab Spring” and in these discussions the case was more about that the “Spring: has turned into “winter”, and hopes for rapid establishment in Near East of democracy and the triumph of human rights haven’t come true. Now this discussion is gradually ceasing – it seems that liberal dreamers recognize that there is nothing to hope for.