July 9, 2020
On June 30, the U.S. Secretary of State and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan met in the C5+1 format.
The participants had a wide-ranging discussion on mutual efforts to build economic resilience and further strengthen security and stability in Central Asia and the region. The participants expressed strong support for efforts to peacefully resolve the situation in Afghanistan and to build economic and trade ties that would connect Central Asia to markets in South Asia and Europe. During the June 30 meeting, participants agreed a program of work to further advance cooperation in the C5+1 format.
C5+1 Program of Work
First, participants agreed to continue strengthening joint work within the framework of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). Participants also agreed to create opportunities for meetings of the C5+1 Working Group on economic issues and consider at its meetings issues of greater cooperation with the Development Finance Corporation, the U.S. Export-Import Bank, and the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. The Economic Working Group will also seek to improve the enabling environment for women in the economy and identify where the C5+1 can support women as agents of economic recovery and prosperity. The Economic Working Group will consider cooperation opportunities in developing the transit potential of Afghanistan, including exploring opportunities for funding from international financial institutions of large projects in cooperation with Afghanistan. The Economic Working Group will also discuss areas such as public health; agriculture; tourism;ransport; information technology; and increased financial transparency and resilience.
Second, in order to strengthen cooperation in the areas of energy and the environment, participants agreed to create opportunities for holding an expert meeting of a working group within the framework of the C5+1 format to discuss the integration of renewable energy technologies and incentives to attract private sector investment, as well as cooperation on air and water quality. The Working Group will also discuss improving the socio-economic situation in environmentally disadvantaged areas of Central Asia, including in the Aral Sea basin, through innovation and technology. The Working Group will discuss supporting national plans for adaptation to environmental challenges, and progress on other regional energy projects, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, and integrating women in all levels of the energy sector.
Third, participants agreed to continue joint work within the framework of the C5+1 Security Working Group to discuss ways to promote secure and effective borders that allow the free flow of goods, prevent the trafficking of persons and illicit goods, nuclear and radiological safety, and increase regional cooperation on border security. The Security Working Group will seek to improve women’s safety and meaningful participation to build and maintain peace, prevent and respond to conflict, and counter terrorism and violent extremism. The Security Working Group will also discuss countering violent extremism, combatting online recruitment activities by terrorist networks, holding joint and regional counterterrorism trainings including ones enabling C5 countries to fulfill international obligations.