The Presidents of Five-Central Asian countries have gathered in Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday to discuss political and economic cooperation after recent unrest in the region.
The leaders would participate in the “Fourth Consultative Meeting of the Heads of States of Central Asia” tomorrow (Thursday) in the resort town of Cholpon-Ata to discuss regional cooperation after deadly civil unrest broke out in four neighboring countries.
Dozens of people were killed, wounded and arrested in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan after security forces brutally clamped down on anti-government protests in their respective autonomous regions – Gorno-Badakhshan and Karakalpakstan.
Moreover, over 200 people, including police officers were killed and hundreds more were wounded and detained during deadly unrest in Kazakhstan in January.
“I think Central Asian countries are now realizing that they would be stronger if they worked together, especially in their relations with Russia, China, and the United States,” Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili, president of the Central Eurasian Studies Society told RFE/RL.
Murtazashvili also spoke about Russia’s influence on the Central Asian countries and the region. “Russia’s influence is declining in the region. People anticipated that Russia would have a really quick victory in Ukraine, but nothing has happened,” Murtazashvili added.
Murtazashvili said that Central Asian countries are now looking to open ways toward South Asia and have already started engaging in trade, and security cooperation with India, Iran, as well with Turkey and other countries.
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