How the phrase “Spirit of Central Asia” appeared in world political science

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How the phrase “Spirit of Central Asia” appeared in world political science

New trends in Central Asian politics of Uzbekistan

Mirzayev Gulom

Uzbekistan’s policy in Central Asia has reached a qualitatively higher level. The trend of developing mutually beneficial cooperation between the countries of the region is intensifying with its own characteristics. According to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan has given priority to strengthening relations of close friendship and cooperation with neighboring countries, and over the past historically short period – the political position and influence of our country in the Central Asian region and the Middle East. The world has grown dramatically. The spirit of trust in New Uzbekistan and the principles of striving for cooperation with our country have increased in the world.

Central Asia is a region with important and unique resources, economic and communication potential. In the 90s of the 20th century, the countries of the region embarked on their own independent path of development and joined the ranks of developing countries, promoting humanism, social justice, and security. in the region there is international harmony, peace and well-established foreign policy activities and international cooperation, based on the principles of international law, such as the creation of an atmosphere of peace, and consistently developing them.

In the direction of the foreign policy of New Uzbekistan, in establishing practical cooperation in the countries of Central Asia, the fifth priority direction of the “Uzbekistan-2030” strategy has been identified – the consistent continuation of a policy based on the principle of “A Safe and Peaceful State”. the region to a new level of quality, good neighborliness and strategic partnership with all neighboring countries, pays special attention to the rapid development of relations, regular and effective conduct of bilateral and multilateral negotiations in political, economic, cultural and humanitarian areas.

The measures taken by the government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to expand mutual cooperation between the countries of the region also play an important role. It should be noted that as a result of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s reforms in the field of foreign policy, diplomatic relations of Uzbekistan with the countries of the Central region literally rose to a new level.

The fact that Shavkat Mirziyoyev began his first visit to foreign countries as President of Uzbekistan with a visit to the countries of Central Asia, literally indicating that he has raised the development of regional cooperation to a new level.

On March 6-7, 2017, Shavkat Mirziyoyev made a state visit to Turkmenistan. It should be noted that this was Sh. Mirziyoyev’s first visit to a foreign country as the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. This state visit of the President clearly confirmed that Uzbekistan attaches great importance to good neighborly relations in foreign policy, and was supported by the signing of the Strategic Partnership Agreement between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

The visit of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Kazakhstan on March 23, 2017 and the signing of a Joint declaration on deepening the strategic partnership and strengthening the friendly neighborhood between the two countries opened a new era in interstate cooperation. Thanks to the joint efforts of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, in 2017 the volume of bilateral trade reached 2 billion US dollars, and such direct contacts serve as the basis for the effective implementation of bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

Following the state visit of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the Kyrgyz Republic, a declaration was signed on strengthening strategic partnership, friendship, good neighborliness and trust.

In 2018, the implementation of the new policy of the President of Uzbekistan to strengthen political trust and mutual solidarity in Central Asia continued consistently. In particular, President Sh. Mirziyoyev visited this country on March 9-10, 2018 at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan E. Rahmon. During the visit, the leaders of the two countries signed a Joint Statement on Strengthening Friendship and Good Neighborhood and an Agreement on Certain Sections of the Uzbek-Tajik State Border.

In addition, as a result of the continuation of negotiations of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the delimitation and demarcation of the state border with neighboring countries, the delimitation of the state border lines with Kazakhstan has been completed, 85 percent of the border with Kyrgyzstan has been passed. agreed upon, and 99.9 percent of the border with Tajikistan has been agreed upon.

At the end of 2021, trade turnover between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan amounted to almost 600 million US dollars. The number of joint ventures has increased 10 times. If in 2017 there were 24 enterprises operating in Uzbekistan, then by the end of 2021 240 enterprises with the participation of Tajik capital began operating. There are 61 enterprises operating in Tajikistan based on investments from Uzbekistan.

On June 2-3, 2022, the presidents of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and the presidents of Tajikistan signed a historic declaration “On strengthening eternal friendship and alliance.” In addition, documents signed at the level of government, ministries and departments are designed to raise multifaceted Uzbek-Tajikistan cooperation to a new level.

Analyzing the platforms and formats of interstate dialogue organized on the initiative of Uzbekistan on regional cooperation, it should be noted that, on the initiative of the head of Uzbekistan, consultative meetings of the leaders of Central Asian countries are regularly held.

Consultative meetings are systematically organized as part of this initiative (March 2018, Kazakhstan; November 2019, Uzbekistan; August 2021, Turkmenistan; July 2022, Kyrgyzstan; 2023, Tajikistan). As positive trends in Uzbekistan’s policy in Central Asia, practical proposals made at these meetings can be noted. In particular, at the fourth consultation meeting held in Kyrgyzstan, he put forward a number of proposals that meet the interests of the region. In particular, the interests of the region today are served by such proposals as the creation of a system of border trade zones with unified and simplified procedures for the delivery of goods to Central Asia and the holding of a Central Asian festival of culture, art and cinema in each country.

Indeed, here it is permissible to note the high assessments expressed by many foreign experts to the initiatives of Uzbekistan. For example, Li Yunxuan, director of the Institute of European and Asian Social Development under the State Council of China, says: “Uzbekistan is an active participant in the processes of strengthening regional and interregional cooperation, in the mechanism of consultative meetings of leaders of Central Asian countries, in ensuring the effectiveness of cooperation on topical issues of ensuring regional stability and development plays an important role.

Indeed, as a result of the growing role of Central Asia in modern international relations, “the spirit of trust in New Uzbekistan and the principles of cooperation with our country have increased in the world.” … Our countries, which have been common brothers and sisters from time immemorial, began to act in close cooperation on many regional and global issues and socio-economic development.

The phrase “Spirit of Central Asia” has appeared in world political science.

On September 14, 2023, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev spoke at the fourth consultative meeting of leaders of Central Asian countries held in Tajikistan and put forward a number of proposals to strengthen new trends in the Central Asian region. politics of Uzbekistan. Including the development of trade and economic cooperation in the region; development of industrial cooperation; increasing interdependence in transport; ensuring security in the energy sector; ensuring food safety; Combating the threats posed by climate change.

The issue of creating an interstate economic council to expand practical cooperation on the entire range of trade and economic issues in the region also deserves attention. Another platform implemented at the initiative of Uzbekistan is the Central Asian Economic Forum. On March 15, 2019, the first Central Asian Economic Forum was held in Tashkent with the participation of deputy prime ministers of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Positive results were achieved through discussion at the forum of issues of further development of regional cooperation, studying the possibilities of the transport and communications complex, increasing the volume of mutual trade and the attractiveness of tourism.

At the initiative of Uzbekistan, in order to ensure good neighborliness and interethnic harmony between the peoples of the countries of Central Asia, on November 15, 2019, an international conference was held in Tashkent with the participation of experts and scientists from foreign countries on the topic “Central Asia is our common home,” which serves to bring the countries of the region closer together in cultural and humanitarian sphere.

Uzbekistan’s policy in Central Asia is consistent in identifying new trends, ensuring stability and security.

On March 9-10, 2018, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev made a state visit to the Republic of Tajikistan. At the high-level meeting, special attention was paid to strengthening interstate cooperation in the areas of ensuring regional security and stability, promoting the solution of international problems, combating terrorism and extremism and other types of organized transnational crime, which is an important achievement of Uzbekistan. diplomacy in ensuring regional security and stability. According to Tajik expert Kasimsho Iskandarov, relations between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan depend on the political will of state leaders. After Shavkat Mirziyoyev came to power, relations between the two countries changed dramatically. The rapid development of Tajik-Uzbek relations has solved many problems not only between the two countries, but also between all countries in the region. The political environment for developing regional cooperation has improved. 

Also, on the initiative of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, on June 22, 2018, the UN General Assembly for the first time adopted a resolution “Strengthening regional and international cooperation to ensure peace, stability and consistent development in the Central Asian region”.  Our opinion is confirmed by the fact that Uzbekistan has put forward proposals for the formation of a regional system for forecasting emergency situations in the region, their prevention, early warning and joint counteraction.

It is worth noting that there are several factors that contribute to the development of good neighborly relations, such as mutual trade, investments and joint projects.

If we look at the numbers, we can witness that Uzbekistan’s trade turnover with the countries of Central Asia has grown to an unprecedented level. Trade turnover in 2017 amounted to $2.4 billion, and by the end of 2019 it reached $5.2 billion. In two short years the growth was 150 percent. Despite the restrictions caused by the pandemic, the growth in freight volumes observed in Central Asia in 2020 demonstrates the enormous potential for further expansion of international roads and railways and strengthening of transport and logistics infrastructure. In this regard, on August 6, 2021, within the framework of the third consultative meeting of leaders of Central Asian countries, at the Economic Forum of Central Asian Countries, held in the Avaza National Tourist Zone (Turkmenistan), the Uzbek side discussed the development of transport corridors connecting the countries of Central Asia, increasing efficiency use of the transit potential of the countries of the region, and also, it is worth noting that he made a proposal to strengthen cooperation on the harmonization and digitalization of customs clearance procedures. It is worth noting that “in recent years, radical reforms in our country, a consistent and active foreign policy, especially strengthening the environment of close neighbors in the Central Asian region, have increased the international prestige of our country”.

If we evaluate the new trends in the Central Asian policy of Uzbekistan, we can see that their impact on regional interaction and international relations is acquiring positive significance.

It should be noted that on December 19, 2019, at the plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly, a special resolution “Sustainable tourism and sustainable development in Central Asia” was adopted, proposed by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

In short, the special significance of the approaches in the regional policy of Uzbekistan lies in the fact that they serve to strengthen the belt of security, stability and cooperation throughout the region. In the context of increasing threats to regional and global security, the socio-economic well-being of countries, Uzbekistan is of great importance in determining new trends in the politics of Central Asia and the prospects for jointly combating modern dangers and threats.

Mirzayev Gulom,

Doctor of philosophy in historical sciences (PhD), associate professor at the University of Public Safety of the Republic of Uzbekistan