By: Prof. Mehmet Seyfettin Erol, Editor-In-Chief
Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, will host a conference titled “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity. Challenges and Opportunities” on 15-16 July 2021. The main theme of the conference, which is planned to be held at the invitation of the President of Uzbekistan, Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, is the strengthening of regional relations. In this context, it is focused to develop mutually beneficial strategic relations between the participating countries in various fields, especially in transportation and logistics, energy, trade, production and investment.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov, United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will make speeches at the opening of the conference. Both the title of the conference and the names of the speakers show that Uzbekistan plays a mediator role in regional and global politics. In addition, the foreign ministers of Turkey, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Russia, China, Azerbaijan, Japan and many other countries will attend the event. In addition, high-level officials from international institutions and organizations such as the Turkic Council, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) will participate. According to incoming informations, more than 250 participants from more than 40 countries will attend the conference.
It is seen that the participants are significant actors playing a role in regional and global politics. In this context, it can be stated that the conference in Tashkent will serve both regional and global peace. In particular, bringing rival actors together on a platform will be the first step in solving various problems through dialogue. At the same time, it is predicted that the outcome of the conference will provide a road map for the establishment of peace, stability and tranquillity. In this sense, it can be argued that the main objective of the conference is to create a situation that serves the welfare of the peoples of the region by pulling the states away from competition and attracting them into cooperation and by developing relations in various fields, especially trade routes.
On the other hand, the purpose of Mr. Mirziyoyev in holding such a conference reveals the basic dynamics of Uzbekistan’s foreign policy. Uzbekistan is aware of the fact that peace and stability are essential for the development of both the domestic and regional economy. For this reason, the peace environment to be established in Central and South Asia will serve the rise of Asia in particular.
As it is known, one of the geopolitical goals of Tashkent is to reach South Asia and the oceans. In this way, it will be able to find new markets, open up to the world and play a proactive role model in the establishment of regional stability.
Since Mr. Mirziyoyev’s appointment to the Presidency, it is seen that he has adopted a multi-purpose attitude that keeps balance in foreign policy and prioritizes cooperation. It is known that the Uzbek leader adopted a constructive attitude, especially in the conflicts between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is a well-known fact that the policy adopted by Tashkent has been appreciated by regional and global actors.
In this context, Uzbekistan, together with Pakistan, is making efforts to implement the railway line on the Mazar-i-Sharif-Kabil-Peshawar route. Thanks to the railway line in question, Central Asian countries that do not have a coast to the sea will be able to open to the world thanks to the geographical bond established with South Asia.
This situation also serves the interests of other regional countries. First of all, it should be noted that; It will be easier for Russia to reach the south. Of course, this will create a great opportunity for South Asian countries to open up to both Central Asia and Russia. On the other hand, the increasing prosperity in Central Asia will encourage regional stability as well as offering to China a safe route to open up to the West.
As a result, Uzbekistan reveals that it wants to play a constructive role in establishing peace in the region through the conference titled “Central and Southern Asia: Regional Connectivity, Challenges and Opportunities”. While the developments have been transforming Central Asia into a competitive arena in the “New Great Game”; Uzbekistan aims to establish peace and transform the region into a stability area. As a matter of fact, Mirziyoyev has ensured that Uzbekistan turns into an active actor with the policies which he has implemented since the day he took office. In today’s global politics, where the geopolitics of the region is reshaped, the mission of the visionary leader of New Uzbekistan, Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, also contributes to the perception of his country as an even more respected and powerful state in global politics. Therefore, these developments confirm the fact that Tashkent is a reliable actor that wants and efforts for permanent peace at the regional and global level.