On August 3, 2016 Washington, DC hosted the second C5+1 Foreign Ministerial Meeting of the Central Asian countries, the press service of the Kazakh MFA reports.
The meeting was held as part of celebration of the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the Central Asia and the U.S. and focused on the urgent issues of security, economic development and environmental protection as well as the ways of strengthening the bilateral and multilateral interaction with the region's countries. In particular, the foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the U.S. noted the importance of regional economic cooperation, development of transport, logistics and energy potential of the region, ensuring regional security in the context of international efforts on stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan and improvement of near-border infrastructure.
The participants approved a number of certain projects worth $15mln in total in the field of support of SMEs, increasing competitiveness of local commodity producers, elimination of intra-regional trade obstacles, fight with the consequences of the global climate change, development of transport and logistics, alternative sources of energy, increasing energy efficiency of economies in whole, coordination of efforts on implementation of national obligations within the Paris Climate Agreement as well as strengthening the CA countries' contribution to the struggle against international terrorism. The projects are aimed at strengthening the existing ties and increasing potential of the CA states. The delegations underscored their readiness for cooperation with the interested international partners in order to successfully implement the given projects.
Taking the floor, Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov noted that C5+1 dialogue could be a backbone element of strengthening cooperation between the CA and the U.S. He emphasized that the Central Asia must be a place where the interests of key countries coincide, but not contradict with each other.
The heads of foreign offices agreed to continue their regular contacts at different levels including the meetings as part of the established ad-hoc groups.
Besides, on the sidelines of the meeting, Erland Idrissov met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The sides exchanged views on the current state and prospects of further strengthening the cooperation between the U.S. and Kazakhstan in key areas of interaction.
On the same day, Erlan Idrissov met with United States Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz for discussing the two countries' interaction in energy security field, in development of ecologically clean and renewable energy sources and participation of the U.S. in EXPO 2017.
The theme of the oncoming EXPO 2017 became an important one in Kazakh Minister's address to the U.S. business community. The Minister informed the U.S. businessmen of the goal and objectives of the international exhibition and outlined the benefits of the U.S.' participation in it. The American companies expressed interest in this largest international event to be hosted by the CA state and the prospects of expansion of business and investment contacts between the countries.
An official reception with the participation of the U.S. businessmen, officials and public communities was held as well, as part of celebration of the 25th anniversary of the U.S.-CA diplomatic relationships.