TODAY.AZ / Politics

Central Asia Weekly Review: Karakalpak protest, summit of Caspian littoral states, water issue

04 July 2022 [15:30] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Sabina Mammadli

Central Asia Weekly Review: 27 Jun-4 Jul 22

Azernews has launched a new project designed to cover weekly major developments in the Central Asian nations

HIGHLIGHTS

Uzbekistan imposes state of emergency in protest-hit Karakalpakstan

Ashgabat hosts the VI Summit of the leaders of the Caspian littoral states

Bishkek presents the preliminary route of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway

Tajikistan adopts a law against all forms of discrimination

Kazakhstan to create CA water-energy consortium

UZBEKISTAN

Uzbekistan imposes state of emergency in protest-hit Karakalpakstan

Uzbekistan has announced a month-long state of emergency in an autonomous republic Karakalpakstan, which is facing unrest.

President Mirziyoyev’s press secretary Sherzod Asadov wrote on Telegram on Saturday that the state of emergency in the Republic of Karakalpakstan would run from just after midnight on Sunday to August 2.

The measure was taken to “ensure the safety of citizens, protect their rights and freedoms (and) restore law and order” in the territory, the statement reads.

A rally was called on July 1 to protest constitutional reform plans that would have changed the status of Karakalpakstan, an autonomous republic that is home to the Karakalpak people – an ethnic minority group with its own language.

Police dispersed the protesters after some tried to storm local government buildings in the region’s capital, Nukus, following a march and a rally at the city’s central market, local and government officials said.

Under the current Uzbek constitution, Karakalpakstan is described as a sovereign republic within Uzbekistan and has the right to secede by holding a referendum.

The new version of the constitution – on which Uzbekistan plans to hold a public vote in the coming months – would no longer mention Karakalpakstan’s sovereignty or right for secession.

However, in response to the protests, during Mirziyoyev’s visit to Karakalpakstan, he said that the changes regarding its status must be dropped from the proposed reform.

Uzbekistan to pay $840 to ex-prisoners to launch businesses

Former Uzbek inmates will be able to receive one-time financial assistance in the amount of 9.2 million soums ($840) to start their own businesses.

The decision to provide a package of primary social and material assistance for the adaptation of former inmates was approved on June 29 by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

It was noted that the authorities will allocate money only for the implementation of projects in the areas of entrepreneurship, architecture, and handicrafts. To receive assistance, it will be necessary to write an application to the Ministry of Justice and attach a project plan within three months after the release.

TURKMENISTAN

Ashgabat hosts 6th Summit of Caspian littoral states’ leaders

The VI Caspian Summit of the heads of states of Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, and Russia was held in the capital of Turkmenistan on June 29.

As a result, the leaders of the Caspian littoral states adopted a communique of the sixth summit.

Presidents Serdar Berdimuhamedov, Ilham Aliyev, Ebrahim Raisi, Tokayev, and Vladimir Putin discussed important issues of cooperation pertaining to the Caspian Sea in various spheres in a narrow format and in an extended delegation composition and exchanged opinions on acute issues of international and regional agenda, standing for mutual interest.

Moreover, the heads of the Caspian Sea littoral states conducted a range of two-sided talks on the sidelines of the VI Caspian Summit.

It was marked that the VII Caspian Summit will take place in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Turkmenistan, Türkiye ink new bilateral accords

Turkmen and Turkish officials signed a final protocol of the result of the 6th meeting of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Turkish Commission on Economic Cooperation held in Ashgabat on July 1.

Heads of leading ministries and departments of Turkmenistan and a Turkish delegation headed by Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay participated in the meeting.

During the meeting, the fruitful nature and growing dynamics of bilateral relations in the trade and economic field, and the important role of the joint Intergovernmental Commission in the development of effective interaction between the two countries was emphasized.

The sides exchanged views on the industry of construction and the building materials, energy, transport, food industry, and agriculture.

On this day, the Turkmen-Turkish business forum was also held, the main topic of which was the intensification of bilateral partnership in the context of long-term plans for the future.

KYRGYZSTAN

Bishkek presents preliminary route of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway

The preliminary route of the new China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway was presented at a meeting of the Kyrgyz government.

Minister of Transport and Communications of Kyrgyzstan Erkinbek Osoev spoke about the construction of the railway. He outlined a preliminary route for the construction of a road that could run through three key points: Torugart - Makmal - Jalal-Abad. The development of an appropriate feasibility study for the project will be completed in December this year.

"The China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway construction project is a unique one, to the implementation of which we attach special priority. The relevant state bodies need to carry out the necessary preparatory work in due time," said Akylbek Zhaparov, head of the Cabinet of Ministers.

A new railway line is under construction to connect the railways of the three countries further to the Persian Gulf countries, Turkey with connection to the European railway network.

Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan to expand cooperation in the energy sector

Pakistan is interested in expanding cooperation with the Republic of Kyrgyzstan in the field of energy and import-export of mineral resources.

Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan Ulanbek Totuyaev and Pakistani Minister of Finance Miftah Ismail discussed the prospects for trade and investment cooperation between the two countries. The parties agreed on further work in the development of economic ties between Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan in agriculture, food industry, energy, textile, and pharmaceutical industries.

Ulanbek Totuyaev suggested that Pakistan consider the possibility of creating the Kyrgyz-Pakistani Investment Fund, which will expand bilateral cooperation through more efficient financing of various projects and initiatives.

In turn, Miftah Ismail announced his readiness to consider Kyrgyzstan's proposal. He also added that Pakistan was interested in the expansion of cooperation in the field of energy and import-export of mineral resources.

TAJIKISTAN

Tajikistan adopts a law against all forms of discrimination

Deputies of the lower house of the Parliament of Tajikistan adopted the Law on Equality and Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination.

Minister of Justice of Tajikistan Muzaffar Ashuriyon noted that under the new law, any person or group of persons subjected to discrimination has the right to apply to the judiciary and other state authorities for the protection of their rights, as well as for appropriate, fair or satisfactory compensation for any harm caused as a result of discrimination.

For the first time, the bill introduces new concepts such as discrimination (Article 1), direct and indirect discrimination (Article 5), sexual harassment (Article 6), segregation (forced separation of people into racial, ethnic, or other groups in everyday life - Article 8), protection from victimization (a social process in which a person becomes a victim of a crime - Article 10) and others.

He stressed that the state guarantees protection against infringement of rights and implements programs to eliminate all forms of discrimination.

Tajikistan, WFP presented program to develop school meals

The government of Tajikistan and the UN World Food Program (WFP) presented a state program for the development of school meals in the country for the period of 2022-2027 on June 30.

The presentation of the program in Dushanbe was attended by representatives of the government, UN agencies, and the Russian embassy.

“With government support and continued funding from Russia, school feeding has become WFP's flagship program in Tajikistan, contributing to the well-being of hundreds of schoolchildren across the country,” said Adham Musallam, WFP Country Director and Representative in Tajikistan.

KAZAKHSTAN

Kazakhstan to create CA water-energy consortium

Kazakhstan plans to develop a water management balance for the transboundary Syrdarya River and automate interstate hydraulic structures, Minister of Ecology, Geology, and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan Serikkkali Brekeshev said.

“The ministry systematically carries out work on cross-border cooperation. Thus, in the Aral-Syrdarya basin, work is underway to create a water-energy consortium of Central Asia, which would allow maintaining a balance of interests of all countries, including energy, irrigation water, and environmental needs of the Aral Sea,” Brekeshev said.

In order to ensure a fair water allocation, it is planned to develop the water management balance of the Syrdarya and automate interstate hydraulic structures.

“According to the Zhaiyk-Caspian basin, it is planned to synchronize the operating modes of hydraulic structures on the territory of the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan in order to ensure the maximum possible releases, especially in dry years,” Brekeshev added.

The issues of water distribution and water use in the countries of the region are currently dealt with by the Interstate Coordinating Water Commission.

The commission, in particular, annually determines and sets the limit on water withdrawal from the transboundary rivers of the Syrdarya and Amudarya for each country in the region during the growing season (April-September) and the non-growing season (October-March).

Kazakhstan may reintroduce mask mandate

In the event of an increase in the number of patients with coronavirus in Kazakhstan, the mask regime could return, Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister Yeraly Tugzhanov said.

According to him, the Ministry of Health has been given specific instructions to strengthen vaccination.

“Vaccination is the main issue as long as there is no critical situation. But the mask-wearing can be re-introduced if growth in the number of patients is registered. Now the growth totals 100 people per day, so there are questions. We are submitting issues pertaining to the strengthening of the quarantine measures to the meeting of the Interregional Commission. Not only in terms of masks, in general, but in terms of measures,” Tugzhanov said.

URL: http://www.today.az/news/politics/222550.html

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