Astana-Tashkent: Reaching of Mutual Agreement

Astana-Tashkent: Reaching of Mutual Agreement

By Arthur Dunn

Regional neighbors Islam Karimov and Nursultan Nazarbayev keep on reaching greater understanding and support of each other, the same they more often acknowledge the interdependence and acute need to strengthen the cooperation.


The trend of warming of bilateral relations is eloquently proved by the results of the visits in Tashkent (in 2010) and Astana ) in 2012 of the Presidents of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. In course of the last meeting Nazarbayev declared: “disagreements rest in past, now there will be close interconnection between the countries and everybody shall breath easily”. According to some information, for this June another visit of the President of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev is planned to Uzbekistan, which gives great hopes to promote the cooperation. This spring Tashkent held meeting between the representatives of Foreign Affairs Ministries on the issue of preparation of the heads of the both states. Studying more carefully the text of the declarations of the both Presidents in course of the meeting in Astana in autumn 2012, we can note how their tone has changed: having thanked the Kazakhstani party for warm welcome the Head of Uzbekistan in his speech noted that first of all he would like to express great satisfaction from held fruitful talks with N. Nazarbayev. “We haven’t had such open talks and views exchanged almost on all urgent issues for a long time. I felt a great need in such friendly meeting and substantial conversation”, - I. Karimov said. He also noted that on all issued of interest the both leaders have reached mutual agreement, having proved the intention to solve together the problems that the two countries face. “I consider this as the main result of our meetings and talks”, - underlined the President of Uzbekistan.


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According to the Head of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan is observed as a good neighbor and strategic partner in Central Asia. Kazakhstan is opened and intends to have the closest contacts with Uzbekistan. An important result of the dialogue between Astana and Tashkent were the decision regarding water, power, transport and border issues. The President of the both states note, that there has been and shall be established close interrelation for the sake of their peoples.


By this the parties noted that by joining efforts Central Asia region can do the utmost to become a transit bridge. “Security and stability in Central Asia depend on our mutual efforts. We intend to extend cooperation to fight transnational challenges, threats within the frameworks of multi-party organizations, as well as bilateral relations” – the Leader of Kazakhstan expressed a common point of view.


Obviously, that omitting ambitions, the leaders were forced to hear each other the understanding of that only with joint efforts Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan can become the engines within the solution of problems of economic well-being and security in Central Asia, which have accumulated for many years of confrontation. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have all prerequisites for this.


In particular, on economic indexes Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are the biggest economies of Central Asia. Their GDP is much higher that the same indexes of the rest countries of the region – Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Regarding demography Kazakhstan (17 mln people) and Uzbekistan (about 30 mln people) also significantly exceed these republics – the population of the two leading states comprises about 80% of the total Central Asia population. Regarding the size of the territory Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are also leaders. Except for that they possess the strongest national armies and the most significant energy reserves: oil, gas and uranium.


That is why according to many experts, they could solve the problems of the region together and serve as the main player in the issue of regional integration in Central Asia. Their role here is comparable with Germany and France within European integration. 


Mean while many experts, political analysts and reporters note also the new tone of conversation between the Heads of the two states. Today I. Karimov has a special water interest with N. Nazarbayev.


Indeed, the discussion of the mechanism of joint use of water-power resources in Central Asian region and intensification of the activity of the International Aral Rescue Fund, probably, was the most important subject of the last meeting in Astana. I. Karimov who has been alarming for a long time regarding the plans of construction in seismic-hazardous area of upper Amudarya and Syrdaya plates of Kambartin (in Kyrgyzstan) and Rogun HPP (in Tajikistan) and expected lack of water for agriculture, has found an upholder and ally within the solution of this issue in person of N. Nazarbayev. We should remind as the Head of Kazakhstan yet in 2010 in Tashkent unexpectedly for the most openly took the side of Uzbekistan within its confrontation with neighbors on these issues. Together with that, the unison play of the Heads of the states in Astana can be considered as a signal of that Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are ready to find a mutual support also on other, not less important issues. The step forward performed was de-facto estimated by the both parties and it can result into new steps in case of proper attitude to the achieved mutual understanding.


As known, the two biggest countries in the region have a common interest within the solution of ecologic disaster in Aral Region, the problems of religious extremism, drugs aggression, organized crime, as well as with transport-transit, energy, food and other spheres.


It’s worth to mention individually the affinity of the lines of the both states’ Leaders on Afghan issue. The both parties  are deeply concerned about the way the situation shall develop in 2014 when American leave Afghanistan. I. Karimov acknowledges today that considering not always coinciding interests of the biggest world powers in Central Asia, the development of common approached of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan gained a special important meaning. Security and stability of Central Asia greatly depends on their joint efforts. That is why, I. Karimov notes, there are solid intentions to extend cooperation in the sphere of fighting transnational challenges and threats within the frameworks of multi-party organizations, as well as on bilateral level. “I would like to note the joint intention to deepen strategic partnership for the sake of the peoples of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan”, N. Nazarbayev replied him during the meeting in Astana.


Thus, economic and political alliance of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan in this or that shape, is absolutely inevitable. This is just the matter of time, which is proved by the common history of related peoples. And current, or as the skeptics say, another warming of the relations of the leaders of the both states gives the ground to hope that such alliance shall occur faster than most people think.






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