A significant event in the journey of strengthening and broadening the relationship between Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries that are members of the esteemed regional organization, the Gulf Cooperation Council and Central Asian countries, was the First Summit held in Jeddah.
The foundation for cooperation between these nations was set at the inaugural ministerial meeting of “CA+GCC” in Riyadh on September 7, 2022. The Foreign Ministers of the Gulf countries – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar – and Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan were in attendance.
Following the meeting, the parties agreed to intensify cooperation in areas such as mutual trade and investment, transport and logistics; fortifying food, energy, and water security; developing green energy; resolving environmental issues and the effects of climate change; and exchanging best practices in all fields, as well as creating appropriate trade and investment mechanisms.
Bringing the format of cooperation to the level of presidents certainly opens up new possibilities for enhancing multifaceted cooperation within the framework of the “CA+GCC”. This is a testament to the successful growth of the “CA+” dialogue formats, increasing the regional subjectivity of Central Asia in the system of international relations.
Undoubtedly, the holding of this summit marks the practical implementation of the provisions of the Concept of Interaction of the Central Asian States within the framework of multilateral formats, adopted following the results of the 4th Consultative Meeting of the Leaders of Central Asian States on July 20-21, 2022 in Cholpan-Ata.
The new initiatives and propositions provided by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev during the summit are of great practical value for resolving current issues on the regional and global agenda.
In particular, in the political realm, the Leader of Uzbekistan emphasized the importance of developing extensive cooperation in various formats and proposed to consider the issue of creating a multilateral agreement on friendship, regional connectivity and cooperation.
The President of Uzbekistan proposed joint action against the islamophobia seen in the world, taking practical steps in this direction within the framework of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, updating the tasks of strengthening contacts in the fight against terrorism, extremism, radicalism and drug trafficking, as well as in protecting youth from the spread of such threats via the Internet and other means.
Regarding the issues of peace in Afghanistan, the Head of state noted that our regions should be active and draw the attention of the entire world community to the problems of Afghanistan from high rostrums to make life easier for the Afghan people.
The Leader of Uzbekistan also called on partners to take an active part in the strategic project for the construction of the Trans-Afghan Railway, which will connect the Gulf states with Central Asia along the shortest route.
In general, the outcomes of the First Summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Central Asian countries revealed the commitment of the leaders of the Central Asian and Gulf states to unite and use the existing political and economic potential to increase cooperation and connectivity, increase the global importance of the regions, resolve common tasks to achieve sustainable growth, ensure security and stability at the regional and global levels.
Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.