US, Caspian countries discuss improved cooperation

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Countries in Caspian Sea region, US mark 30th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations.

The US and the countries in the Caspian Sea region discussed improved cooperation opportunities, the Kazakh presidency said on Tuesday.

A special webinar dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the US and countries of the Caspian region was organized by Caspian Policy Center based in Washington D.C.

The speakers at the event included Erzhan Kazykhan, deputy chief of staff of the president of Kazakhstan and president’s special representative for international cooperation, US Assistant Secretaries of State Donald Lu and Karen Donfried, as well as senior diplomats from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

According to Kazykhan, countering terrorism and other security challenges, tackling the climate emergency, diversification of transit-transport systems, and promotion of women’s economic empowerment were discussed and identified as potential areas in which cooperation can be further improved between the countries in the region and the US.

He emphasized the commitment of Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to continue the political, economic, and institutional modernization of the country, adding that the new cabinet would introduce the action plan for 2022 soon.

Lu, for his part, hoped that Kazakhstan will ensure the continuation of the course for further political and economic transformations.

“The challenge for the West is to support Kazakhstan in a manner that is not teaching but allow Kazakhstan to recognize and to address the human rights problems that occurred in January and to move forward with social, political, and economic reforms necessary to prevent any potential unrest,” he said.

Representatives of the other countries also noted the importance of cooperation between the countries of the region and the US to further improve political, economic, cultural, and humanitarian dialogue.