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Central Asia nervously awaits withdrawal of foreign militaries from Afghanistan

  • Written by John C. K. Daly

BISHKEK (TCA) — The Central Asia nations of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan — which share borders with Afghanistan — are particularly concerned whether the planned withdrawal of US-led coalition forces from the war-torn country will lead to a situation capable of posing a security threat for the post-Soviet republics. We are republishing the following article on the issue, written by John C. K. Daly*:

Read more: Central Asia nervously awaits withdrawal of foreign militaries from Afghanistan

Kazakhstan: President Tokayev embarks on a turbulent second year in office

  • Written by George Voloshin

NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — As President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev has entered his second year in office, Kazakhstan is facing economic challenges caused by low oil prices and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. We are republishing the following article on the issue, written by George Voloshin:

Read more: Kazakhstan: President Tokayev embarks on a turbulent second year in office

Uzbekistan temporarily chooses observer status instead of full membership in Eurasian Union

  • Written by Umida Hashimova

TASHKENT (TCA) — By initially opting for observer status rather than pursuing full Eurasian Economic Union membership, Uzbekistan is showing its sensitivity to concerns expressed by its Western partners, and Tashkent’s cautious attitude to EEU entry will give the Uzbek government some time to finally weigh all pros and cons of such decision. We are republishing the following article on the issue, written by Umida Hashimova:

Read more: Uzbekistan temporarily chooses observer status instead of full membership in Eurasian Union

Central Asia’s next transformation

  • Written by Lilia Burunciuc and Ivailo Izvorski

BISHKEK (TCA) — The post-Soviet countries of Central Asia now have good opportunities to boost their economies and improve the living standards of their populations. This requires better use of the region’s potential and more regional integration. We are publishing the following opinion article on the issue, written by Lilia Burunciuc, regional director of the World Bank in Central Asia, and Ivailo Izvorski, World Bank lead economist for Central Asia:

Read more: Central Asia’s next transformation

Kyrgyzstan: Government in search of efficient models to develop airports

  • Written by Maria Levina

BISHKEK (TCA) — The Manas International Airport in Bishkek should become one of the main aviation hubs in Central Asia by 2023, the National Development Strategy of Kyrgyzstan for 2018-2040 says. This requires improving the infrastructure and equipment of the airport and bringing the level of its services to international. The airport renovation requires investment and competent management.

Read more: Kyrgyzstan: Government in search of efficient models to develop airports

US strategy for Central Asia to deepen the region’s engagement with the United States

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — The U.S. Department of State has updated the United States Strategy for Central Asia 2019-2025, which says that the United States’ strategic interest in this region is to build a more stable and prosperous Central Asia.

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Afghanistan and the U.S.-Iran confrontation

  • Written by Sudha Ramachandran

BISHKEK (TCA) — The possibility of Afghanistan becoming a battleground in the current conflict between Iran and the United States is fraught with serious consequences not only for Afghanistan, but also for the U.S. and Iran, as both countries are involved in what is going on in the war-torn Afghanistan. We are republishing the following article on the issue, written by Sudha Ramachandran:

Read more: Afghanistan and the U.S.-Iran confrontation

A year in review: Uzbekistan continues to open up at home and to the world

  • Written by Umida Hashimova

TASHKENT (TCA) — In 2019, Uzbekistan continued political liberalization and economic reforms, and is expected to stick to the chosen course this year. However, authorities in Tashkent are faced with new challenges and even more expectations from the Uzbek citizens willing to see real improvements in their lives. We are republishing the following article on the issue, written by Umida Hashimova:

Read more: A year in review: Uzbekistan continues to open up at home and to the world

The battle of trolls in Georgia

  • Written by Irakli Kakabadze*

TBILISI (TCA) — Late in December, Facebook announced that in Georgia it had closed 39 fake accounts, 344 fake pages and 13 fake groups. It had concluded that those groups were FAKE by their origin. In total $316,000 was spent on all of these activities. If we divide the entire sum that 344 groups have spent last year it comes out that each group has used less than $1,000 that is not much for a strong ideological platform. In this case these paid adds were used not just on Facebook but on Instagram as well. So, the amount that Facebook has discovered is a very moderate amount — just 344 individuals spending just $1,000 a year to have their trolls active.

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Georgia's precarious state

  • Written by Irakli Zurab Kakabadze*

TBILISI (TCA) — According to former EU and US Ambassadors to Georgia Denis Corboy, William Courtney, and Kenneth Yalowitz "Georgia’s status as a post-Soviet democratic leader is under challenge. A flawed presidential election, use of force against protesters, and political manipulations by the secretive billionaire who heads the ruling Georgian Dream Party have strained public confidence and brought mounting public protests. Domestic calm may hinge on improving political dialogue and conducting free and fair parliamentary elections in fall, 2020.

Read more: Georgia's precarious state

China's soft power in Central Asia

  • Written by Nurlan Aliyev

BISHKEK (TCA) — As anti-Chinese sentiments have grown in Central Asia countries in recent years, China is increasing its cultural and educational presence in the region with the purpose to facilitate the achievement of Beijing’s economic and political goals in this part of the world. We are republishing the following article on the issue, written by Nurlan Aliyev:

Read more: China's soft power in Central Asia

New vistas for trans-Caspian projects

  • Written by Stephen Blank

BISHKEK (TCA) — The Caspian Sea is a promising area for cooperation between its littoral states — Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan; but their cooperation in the transport and energy spheres is hindered by different geopolitical, and economic, interests of the regional states. We are republishing the following article on the issue, written by Stephen Blank*:

Read more: New vistas for trans-Caspian projects

Is this Central Asia’s ASEAN moment?

  • Written by S. Frederick Starr

BISHKEK (TCA) — Largely due to the efforts of Uzbekistan’s new President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the post-Soviet countries of Central Asia have recently taken steps towards wider regional cooperation in various spheres. This increased collaboration, however, may face obstacles. We are republishing the following article on the issue, written by S. Frederick Starr, Chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at the American Foreign Policy Council:

Read more: Is this Central Asia’s ASEAN moment?

History repeats itself: Uzbekistan's new Eurasian gamble

  • Written by Farkhod Tolipov

TASHKENT (TCA) — There are different opinions inside Uzbekistan about the country’s possible accession of the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), as the move would have serious implications for Central Asia’s most populous nation. We are republishing the following article on the issue, written by Farkhod Tolipov*:

Read more: History repeats itself: Uzbekistan's new Eurasian gamble

Chinese repression of Muslims in Xinjiang echoes across Central Asia

  • Written by Paul Goble

BISHKEK (TCA) — The growing anti-China sentiment in Central Asia countries, largely caused by Beijing’s repressive policies towards the Muslim population of Xinjiang, is an increasing impediment to China’s economic expansion in the region. We are republishing the following article on the issue, written by Paul Goble:

Read more: Chinese repression of Muslims in Xinjiang echoes across Central Asia

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