CrisisWatch Uzbekistan

Unchanged Situation

France’s president sought to boost ties with Uzbekistan, and FMs from Central Asian countries attended G7 online meeting.

Macron sought to bolster cooperation. President Macron 1-2 Nov visited Uzbekistan following trip to Kazakhstan (see Kazakhstan) amid efforts to strengthen ties. Sides reportedly discussed projects in agriculture and uranium, while Macron 2 Nov said countries would develop strategic partnership; Mirziyoyev praised “historic” visit and confirmed leaders had “agreed to advance bilateral relations to the level of a strategic partnership”. In interview broadcast 12 Nov, Russian FM Lavrov accused west of trying to “push” Moscow out of Central Asia. French newspaper La Tribune 26 Nov reported Macron pitched replacing Tashkent’s Russian-made fighter planes with French jets during meeting.

G7 hosted Central Asian FMs for virtual meeting. During 7-8 Nov G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan, FMs from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan 8 Nov attended virtual session amid efforts by G7 to strengthen engagement with Central Asia. G7 promised to “support the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Central Asian countries” and to strengthen cooperation on “regional challenges”, such as impact of war in Ukraine, water security and climate change.

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