Uzbekistan to host Central Asian summit in April


DUSHANBE -- Leaders of the five Central Asian states are planning to hold their second regional consultative meeting in Tashkent in April, ASIA-Plus reported Wednesday (February 27).

This year's regional summit will address issues related to political, economic and humanitarian co-operation among the Central Asian nations, a source in the Tajik government told ASIA-Plus.

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev proposed the coming summit last March in Astana, when leaders of all five Central Asian states convened, sweeping away years of isolationist policies and political barriers.

That conference, which included the presidents of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and the parliament speaker of Turkmenistan, was the first regional summit in almost a decade.

Until last March's summit in Astana, the Central Asian leaders had a long-standing practice of convening only in restricted circumstances: either informally or during the events of multi-lateral bodies.

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It's time to establish our own Central Asian NATO + Turkey and Azerbaijan. China and Russia are watching.