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Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Central Asian States Participating in General Debate at 71st Session of UN General Assembly

NEW YORK, September 22, 2016 – On the initiation of the Kazakh side, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs from Kazakhstan (Erlan Idrissov), Kyrgyzstan (Erlan Abdyldaev), Tajikistan (Sirodjidin Aslov), Turkmenistan (Rashid Meredov) and Uzbekistan (Abdulaziz Kamilov) held a meeting on the sidelines of their participation in the General Debate at the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly.

This year all the Central Asian countries celebrate the 25th anniversary of Independence. Over this period countries in the region have made significant progress towards modernizing their political systems and public administration, building modern economies, advancing their socioeconomic and democratic development, as well as strengthening interreligious and interethnic understanding.

The Foreign Ministers stressed their ongoing commitment to work together to overcome challenges to the security and stability in Central Asia, including the growing threat from terrorism and religious extremism, illicit drug trafficking and organized crime, enhancing border security, and implementing the goals and objectives of the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone.

Keen interest was noted in the development of further friendly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation on bilateral and multilateral basis in the areas of policy, security, economy, education, science and culture.

The Foreign Ministers of Central Asian states congratulated Kazakhstan on election to the UN Security Council for 2017-2018, and wished the country success in consolidation of peace and security. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Mr. Idrissov stated that Kazakhstan, as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, will promote the common interests of the Central Asian countries, and use the membership to focus on important issues in the fields of peace, security, stability and development in the Central Asian region.

The parties discussed the preparations for the 43rd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which will be held on October 18-19 2016 in Tashkent, with the overarching theme, “Knowledge and education – the path to peace and creation”. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan have expressed their willingness to participate in the event.

The parties noted the importance of continued regular meetings of Foreign Ministers to promote the spirit of cooperation and mutual understanding across Central Asia.

As always, the meeting was held in a warm and friendly atmosphere.