All Articles (60)

Leaders of five Central Asian countries—four presidents and head of Turkmenistan’s parliament—met in Astana, Kazakhstan to discuss cooperation and integration. Tone of meeting was set by Kazakh President who declared that “in order to solve problems of Central Asia, we do not need any third persons. We ourselves can resolve all questions.” Meeting could represent a turning point for the region. Nazarbayev emphasised that this was happening primarily because of new president…

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his Kyrgyz counterpart Sapar Isakov on sidelines of World Government Summit in Dubai. The two leaders shared views on bilateral and regional issues.

Minister of State MJ Akbar in his Statement at Conference on Afghanistan in Tashkent on 26-27 March said that there cannot be any solution to the Afghan conflict "without principled commitment to law, to democracy as the basis of order and to human rights. At the centre of…

Industrial production in Kazakhstan in January 2018 increased by 5.2% compared to corresponding month of 2017. Foreign direct investments into Kazakhstan in first nine months of 2017 amounted to US$15.8 billion. Kazakhstan exported non-primary products worth more than US$14 billion in 2017. Total volume of exports increased by 31.6% to US$43.1 billion.

Kazakhstan ranks 53rd among largest exporting countries. Its manufactured products are exported to…

Uzbekistan organised a Conference on 26-27 March on Afghanistan titled "Peace Process, Security Cooperation and Regional Connectivity" with participation of delegations from 21 countries and representatives from United Nations and European Union (EU) for finding ways to bring Afghan government, Taliban and others into direct peace talks. Uzbek and Afghan Presidents inaugurated the Conference. Tashkent Declaration adopted at end of Conference voiced its "strong backing for…

Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan visited India on 11-12 February, 2018 and held discussions with his Indian counterpart on expanding bilateral and multilateral cooperation. This was part of his working visit to Iran, Pakistan, China and India for discussing bilateral cooperation, regional developments and international issues. He had earlier visited India with Uzbek Minister of Foreign Trade and a big business delegation in August, 2017.

Deputy Prime Minister and…

Groundbreaking ceremony to start work on TAPI pipeline in Afghanistan is expected to take place on Turkmen-Afghan border on 23rd February, 2018. Turkmenistan has invited Heads of State of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan to participate in the ceremony. This will herald the beginning of formal talks amongst participating countries who will work on their respective agreements concerning safety, security, taxation, exemptions and fiscal incentives, although terms of commercial…

US President Donald Trump met Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Washington DC. Both leaders agreed to enter into an Enhanced Strategic Partnership. Nazarbayev declared a "new era of relations" between the two countries that will cooperate on supply of U.S. and Afghan militaries. Nazarbayev expressed desire to host talks to find a peaceful solution for North Korean nuclear crisis and asserted that having abandoned its own nukes, Kazakhstan has a moral right to call on…

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has advocated reopening of ancient trading routes between the state and Central Asian countries as this will help the state to open up to the outside world and its opportunities. 

During Foreign Office consultations between India and Kyrgyzstan, issues of mutual interest, including common concerns over terrorism, extremism and drug-trafficking were discussed.

Ambassador of…

World Bank has stated that Central Asian countries have not adjusted to lower oil prices. They will need to carry out large-scale reforms to regain competitiveness. Failure to do so could undermine ruling elites and create serious political risks. Although only Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are energy exporters, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have also benefited from large remittances from hundreds of thousands of their citizens working in Russia and Kazakhstan.…

Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov made Uzbekistan the first country of his visit after being elected and signed a bilateral strategic partnership agreement. Both countries view development of transportation links between Central Asian nations as a top priority. Trade turnover in first nine months of 2017 grew by more than 60% compared to 2016. This figure could rise to US$280 million for whole of 2017. They resolved to increase it to US$500 million. They stressed need to…

Indian Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat held talks in New Delhi with Kyrgyz armed forces chief on ways to expand bilateral security and defence cooperation.

Kyrgyzstan was focus country in annual India International Trade Fair organized in Delhi from 14th-27th November, 2017. 7,000 exhibitors participated in the Exhibition. 

The 14-day long joint training exercise between defence forces of India and Kazakhstan titled…

Kyrgyzstan’s newly-elected President Sooronbay Jeenbekov was sworn into office on 24th November, 2017. Jeenbekov’s assumption of office is the first peaceful transfer of power in Kyrgyzstan’s contemporary history. The two former presidents, Askar Akayev and Kurmanbek Bakiyev, were toppled through revolutions in 2005 and 2010 respectively and fled the country.

Prosecutors in Kyrgyzstan have opened a criminal case against Omurbek…

7th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) was held in Turkmenistan to discuss investment opportunities in Afghanistan. Political and business leaders from 40 countries and representatives of 30 regional and international organizations focused on key aspects of economic development of Afghanistan. Afghan foreign minister said that 7th RECCA Meeting had come at a time when need for economic growth, stability and confidence-building in the…

Minister of State for External Affairs M.J Akbar visited Kyrgyzstan to participate in the International Conference “Islam in a Modern Secular State”. He met Kyrgyz Prime Minister and discussed the state of bilateral ties particularly expansion of people to people contacts. Kyrgyz PM expressed appreciation for gifting equipment Bhabhatron-2 to National Center of Oncology of Kyrgyzstan. 

MOS (Law & Justice) Shri P.P. Chaudhary visited…

Kazakhstan witnessed increase in prices of petrol over last several weeks. Kazakh Minister for Energy cited declining import volumes of Russian petrol and maintenance works at Kazakhstan’s major oil refineries as key reasons for it. Prime Minister Sagintayev was however not satisfied and instructed the government to fire Vice Minister of Energy and Vice-President of Kazakh Oil Company. Energy Minister was reprimanded and instructed to work harder to find immediate solution…

Presidential election in Kyrgyzstan was held on 15th October, 2017. Sooronbai Jeenbekov, a protégé of outgoing president Almazbek Atambayev and candidate from Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK), won with 55% - a stronger result than earlier polls had predicted. Omurbek Babanov, multimillionaire leader of Respublika Party conceded defeat but said he would investigate irregularities. Jeenbekov will assume office on 1st December, 2017.

In run up to final vote,…

Uzbekistan devalued its currency (som) by almost half as it floated the currency to end more than two decades of economic and market isolation. US dollar was pegged at 8,100 soms compared with previous rate of 4,210 soms. The new rate was even weaker than som's black-market convertibility of 7,700 to the dollar.

In a meeting with Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on sidelines of first Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit…

India and Kazakhstan decided during the thirteenth 2-day meeting of Inter-Governmental Commission to strengthen cooperation in hydrocarbons and nuclear energy sectors, and also expand the International North-South Transport Corridor by linking it to the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran rail link. India’s Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Kazakh Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev co-chaired the meeting. The two sides discussed "ideas for stepping up cooperation in…

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s visit to Tashkent on 16th September was termed ‘’historic and ground-breaking’’ by both sides. This was 6th meeting between Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev with his Kazakh counterpart since the former assumed power last year. The leaders have conducted seven telephonic conversations during this period. Since beginning of the year, bilateral trade has grown 35%, communication between the two countries has…

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov led a high-powered delegation to New Delhi on August 13-15. The delegation participated in the 6th Session of India-Turkmenistan Intergovernmental Commission for Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation. Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs of India and co-chair of the Commission, and Meredov comprehensively reviewed the gamut of bilateral relations particularly in areas of…

About the Author

Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar belongs to the Indian Foreign Service and has acquitted his responsibilities in the diplomatic service for 34 years. He was Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia and has worked in senior diplomatic positions in Indian Embassies/Missions in Washington DC, Brussels, Moscow, Geneva, Tehran, Dhaka and Bangkok and also at Headquarters in India. He negotiated for India in the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations and in negotiations for India-EU, India-ASEAN and India-Thailand Free Trade Agreements.

He contributed significantly to strengthening strategic ties and promoting cultural cooperation between India and USA, EU, Russia and other countries.Ambassador Sajjanhar worked as head of National Foundation for Communal Harmony to promote amity and understanding between different religions, faiths and beliefs. Ambassador Sajjanhar has been decorated by Governments of Kazakhstan and Latvia with their National Awards and by Universal Peace Federation with Title of ''Ambassador of Peace.'' Currently Ambassador Sajjanhar is President of Institute of Global Studies, New Delhi. He writes, travels and speaks extensively on issues relating to international relations, foreign policy and themes of contemporary relevance and significance. He appears widely on TV panel discussions. Ambassador Sajjanhar is interested in reading, music and travelling. His wife Madhu is an economist and an educationist. They have a son and a daughter both of who are accomplished singers. Their son passed out of Yale University and their daughter is pursuing her PhD at University of Minnesota.