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Uzbek foreign minister to conclude US visit


Uzbek foreign minister to conclude US visit

uzbek foreign minister 1
Photo: Kevin Lamarque/ Reuters

Today marks the conclusion of the weeklong visit of Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov and his delegation to Washington DC.

The global pandemic has seen positive regional political movements in Central Asia, with Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan strengthening formerly broken ties that were shaped by decades of border and economic disputes. Newly elected governments have set aside these historic rivalries with open dialogue to strengthen regional stability. With Moscow focused inward during the pandemic, Washington has seen a unique opportunity to open markets for investment and provide peacekeeping partners for neighbouring Afghanistan.

As Afghanistan transitions to a new governing era alongside a resurgent Taliban, Washington is looking to strengthen its strategic bilateral relationship with Tashkent, the key regional power broker. Uzbeks are viewed favourably by the Taliban, which gives them a key role in future peace negotiations. This week’s meetings have concluded with Washington extending its $100 million for Uzbek economic assistance, the return of US Peace Corps volunteers and support for Tashkent’s election to the UN Human Rights Council. Expect a greater US presence in the region as Washington pivots its regional strategy in an attempt to pull the Central Asian nations away from Beijing’s and Moscow’s influence.

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