No content found

  Joint Statement Second GCC-Central Asian Ministerial Meeting on Strategic Dialogue

General Secretariat – Tashkent
The Second GCC-Central Asia Joint Ministerial Meeting on Strategic Dialogue took place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on April 15, 2024. The Gulf Corporation Council delegation was headed by Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar Chairman of the current session of the GCC Ministerial Council, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Minister of Energy and Industry of United Arab Emirates, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Foreign Minister of the Sultanate of Oman, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as well Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan as a guest of honor, attended the meeting.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan Bakhtiyor Saidov chaired the meeting.

The Heads of delegations to the Strategic Dialogue adopted the following statement:

1.They welcomed the convening of the Second Ministerial Meeting on the GCC-Central Asian Strategic Dialogue and expressed their readiness to ensure the functioning of this dialogue platform on a regular basis. They welcomed Azerbaijan’s participation as a guest of honor in the second meeting of the Foreign Ministers of this dialogue format.

2.They reviewed the implementation status of the outcomes of the first Summit of the Heads of State of the GCC–Central Asia Strategic Dialogue (July 19, 2023, Jeddah), which have provided guidance and direction for this process. It was noted that this format is steadily developing as a solid platform for strengthening mutual understanding, trust, and equal partnership among member states.
They highly appreciated the role of the Consultative Meetings of the Heads of State of Central Asia in further deepening regional cooperation, strengthening the atmosphere of friendship, trust and good-neighborliness and the GCC efforts to promote regional integration as outlined by the 44th GCC summit held in Qatar on 5 December 2023.

3.They reaffirmed their joint commitment to forming a sustainable and forward-looking partnership based on common values and mutual interests.

4.They stressed the necessity of promoting trade and investment exchanges between the two regions, noting the importance of cooperation to ensure sustainable supply chains, transport and transit connection, food, energy and water resources, as well as implementing joint investment projects, developing clean energy, addressing environmental problems and sharing best practices in education and health. They took note of proposals for investment promotion mechanisms from participating countries, including proposals by Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and encouraged investment officials from both sides to study these proposals and explore effective mechanisms to promote investment between the two regions, in accordance with GCC-Central Asia Joint Action Plan (2023-2027).

The parties, who are the Members States of the Islamic Organization for Food Security, emphasized the importance of supporting and enhancing the activities of this Organization in food security issues.

5.They congratulated Saudi Arabia for hosting Expo2030 in Riyadh and expressed their readiness to spare no effort in supporting Saudi Arabia organizing the event successfully, and ensuring their effective participation, which will help promote economic and cultural exchanges between the countries of the GCC and Central Asia. 

6.They urged active high-level participation in the first GCC-Central Asian Investment Forum, to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and the GCC - Central Asia Investment Forum, to be held in Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan in 2024. They welcomed Kazakhstan's proposal to hold a panel session “Investment and economic cooperation between Central Asia and the GCC” in 2025 within the framework of the Astana International Forum (AIF).

7.They stressed the need for effective mechanisms for cooperation in the fields of transport connectivity, infrastructure, innovation, artificial intelligence, sustainable and circular economy, digitalization, smart agriculture, nano- and biotechnologies, in accordance with the GCC-Central Asia Joint Action Plan (2023-2027). In this regard, they encouraged investment officials and business representatives from the GCC and Central Asian countries to engage and discuss investment mechanisms and opportunities, potential partnerships and best practices. They noted Uzbekistan’s proposal to hold a meeting of business representatives in Samarkand for this purpose and expressed their readiness to study the possibilities of further development of transport and transit corridors between two regions.

8.They stressed the need for greater cooperation in the areas of the IT industry and high technology, including using the capabilities of the International Technopark of IT startups “Astana hub” in Kazakhstan, the High-Technology Park in Kyrgyz Republic, IT and Techno Park Uzbekistan, Technology Center of the Academy of the Sciences of Turkmenistan and other similar institutions in both regions.

9.They congratulated the State of Qatar for hosting the Web 2024 conference and for allocating one billion dollars for emerging enterprises in this field. 

10.They recalled the Joint Statement of the GCC-Central Asian Summit in Jeddah on July 19, 2023, where the leaders called for cooperation in the field of energy, and considering that the member states of the Strategic Dialogue possess rich energy sources and advanced infrastructure and facilities for production, processing and transportation, they took note of Turkmenistan’s proposal to analyze the potential for cooperation and possible joint activities in the energy sector, to be discussed within the framework of the GCC-Central Asia Joint Action Plan (2023-2027), as well as Saudi Arabia’s proposal to coordinate between the Member States of the International Energy Forum in this regard. 

11.They expressed their desire to cooperate in health care and combat the various risks that threaten humanity. In this context, the GCC and Central Asian countries noted Kazakhstan’s initiative to establish a special multilateral body under the United Nations–the International Biosafety Agency, which will contribute to the prevention of biological threats and the exchange of data on dangerous diseases. 

12.They stressed the importance of developing connected transport routes between the two regions, building strong logistics and trade networks and developing efficient systems to enable product exchanges. They called for a meeting of transport officials to discuss new and effective measures to increase transport connectivity, in accordance with the Joint Action Plan (2023-2027) and the Joint Statement of the GCC-Central Asia Summit of July 19, 2023, including Trans-Afghan railroad, connecting countries of Central Asia and the Gulf, the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railroad, the transport and energy corridor "Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan", Trans-Caspian International Transport Route and other proposals to increase interregional connectivity.

13.They agreed to continue cooperation between the two regions in addressing climate change, emphasizing managing greenhouse gas emissions regardless of their source. They welcomed the historical “UAE Consensus” reached at the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Dubai in 2023. They stressed the importance of the Middle East Green Initiative led by Saudi Arabia to the region, which aims at addressing emissions through the Circular Carbon Economy Approach adopted by the GCC and reaffirmed their commitment to its initiatives. They noted the hydropower plants under realization in Central Asia, including Rogun HPP in Tajikistan and Kambarata-1 in Kyrgyzstan, which will substantially increase the potential of joint water and energy cooperation in the region. They also noted the successful conclusion of the International Horticultural Exhibition in Qatar (Doha EXPO-2023).

They noted the importance of the proposals of Kazakhstan on the Regional Climate Summit under the auspices of the UN in 2026 in Kazakhstan and the Project Office for Central Asia on climate change and green energy in Almaty, as well as the initiative of Kyrgyzstan on the Regional Center in Bishkek for the implementation of energy-efficient and resource-saving technologies. 

They noted Kazakhstan's initiative to open the UN Regional Center for Sustainable Development Goals for Central Asia and Afghanistan in Almaty and the initiative of Turkmenistan to open a regional climate technology center for Central Asia under the auspices of the UN in Ashgabat.

14.They called for engagement between environment protection officials from both regions to advance cooperation in this area and exchange best practices and study successful initiatives in each region. They noted Uzbekistan’s Samarkand International Climate Forum dedicated to the environmental agenda of Central Asia and achievement of green development goals. They welcomed the UN General Assembly resolution 75/278 declaring the Aral Sea region a zone of ecological innovations and technologies and noted the importance of continuing efforts to consider conditions for the establishment of UN Special Program for the Aral Sea Basin. They discussed the impact of the Aral Sea crisis and the importance of addressing the socio-economic situation in the Aral Sea region, through the activities of relevant international organizations. They noted the importance of implementing the resolution adopted at the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly on sustainable mountain development, aimed at strengthening international cooperation on mountain-related development issues, and welcomed Kyrgyzstan's hosting of the Second Global Bishkek Mountain Summit “Bishkek+25” in 2027. They welcomed the UN General Assembly resolution 77/158 designating 2025 as the International Year of Glaciers’ Preservation, and the upcoming international conference on this issue, to be held in Tajikistan in 2025, noting the importance of glaciers to the hydrological cycle and their impact on the environment.

15.They stressed that water is critical for achieving sustainable development goals and the eradication of poverty and hunger. They welcomed the outcomes of the UN Conference on the Midterm Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development” 2018-2028. They recognized Tajikistan’s leading role and the importance of the Dushanbe Water Process in this regard, welcoming the convening of the Third High-Level International Conference to be held in Dushanbe on 10-13 June 2024.

16.They noted the “Muhammed bin Zayed Water Initiative,” launched by the UAE on Feb.29, 2024, and Saudi Arabia’s decision to establish an international water organization in Riyadh to address water scarcity worldwide and mobilize investments for this purpose.

17.In tourism development, they recalled the joint statement of the GCC-Central Asia Summit in Jeddah regarding cooperation in tourism promotion and tourism infrastructure investment and called on tourism officials to explore expanding cooperation, including through the implementation of joint projects in tourism sector and organize exhibitions, conferences, festivals, and study tours, as well as explore additional steps to increase people-to-people contacts through tourism. They welcomed the holding of joint thematic events, such as Days of National Culture, Cinema Weeks, Sports Days of Central Asian and Gulf countries. In this context, the participants supported the initiative to hold a forum of leading tour operators in the city of Khiva, which is declared the Tourist Capital of the Islamic World in 2024 and welcomed Kazakhstan invitation to Central Asian and GCC states to attend the Fifth World Nomad Games to be held in Astana in September 2024. 

18.They congratulated Qatar for its success in hosting the Asia Cup 2023 and winning the tournament and Saudi Arabia hosting the World Cup 2034, and welcomed Tajikistan's proposal to host the GCC-Central Asia Youth Forum.

19.They agreed to strengthen cooperation in higher education, research, and training, encourage cooperation between universities and research centers in the two regions, as well as share knowledge and experience through networking among experts and specialists in the field of education, in accordance with the GCC-Central Asia Joint Action Plan (2023-2027).

20.Supporting the commitment to further enhance cooperation in the cultural and humanitarian spheres, including within the framework of UNESCO and ISESCO, they emphasized that this direction has a significant potential as an effective factor in strengthening mutual understanding between people who share profound historical, cultural, and religious ties based on the Islamic values of tolerance, cooperation and mutual respect, which are shared by people of all faiths and cultures. In this respect, the participants welcomed the holding of the 43rd session of the UNESCO General Assembly in Samarkand in 2025 and expressed confidence that this event will give a new impetus to the development of cooperation in education, science, culture, protection of cultural heritage sites and their popularization. They welcome the holding of international forum on 11th of October 2024 dedicated to the 300th anniversary of poet and philosopher Mahtumkuli Phragi.

21.They expressed support for Kuwait’s candidacy to join the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for the period 2025-2029. 

22.They exchanged views on regional and international issues and highlighted the importance of coordinating their positions through the mechanisms of the Strategic Dialogue. They agreed on the importance of preserving the multilateral system and intensifying efforts to achieve peace, security, stability and prosperity around the world, giving priority to securing international peace and security through mutual respect and cooperation between countries to achieve development and progress, as well as the principles of good neighborliness, respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, refraining from the use of force or threats, and maintaining the international order based on adherence to the principles of international law and the UN Charter.

23.They noted the proclamation of the 5th March as an International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 77/51.

24.They commended the UN General Assembly Resolution A/78/L.48) on March 15, 2024, which condemned the incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence against Muslims as manifested in the increasing number of incidents of desecration of the Holy Quran; attacks on mosques, sites and shrines; and other acts of religious intolerance, negative stereotyping, hatred and violence. The Resolution further called for the appointment of a special envoy and designated March 15 as an international day to combat Islamophobia. 

25.They called on Israel to fulfill its obligations under international humanitarian law for the provision of all humanitarian aid and basic needs to the population in Gaza without hindrance, stressing the necessity of operating electricity and water lines and allowing the entry of fuel, food and medicine for the residents of Gaza. They called on the international community to take a serious and firm stance for an immediate and sustainable ceasefire, and providing protection for civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. 

They re-emphasized the international nature of Palestinian issue and the need to resolve it through political means, with an independent and viable Palestinian state along the 1967 lines, including East Jerusalem, in accordance with international law and all the relevant United Nations resolutions.

26.They expressed their hope to intensify cooperation between the GCC and Central Asia in security and border control, as well as in the joint fight against terrorism, transnational organized crime, human trafficking, illicit trafficking of narcotic substances, cyber security threats, money laundering and terrorism financing, while acting in accordance with the commitments to universal human rights and the rule of law.

The Ministers welcomed the convening of a high-level international conference on combating terrorism in framework “Dushanbe Process” which will be held in November 2024 in the State of Kuwait and expressed their readiness for participation in this conference.

27.They discussed the initiative of H.E the President of Uzbekistan at the summit in Jeddah in July 2023 to conclude a treaty on friendship, interregional connectivity and cooperation between the Central Asian and GCC countries and will examine the proposed document. 

28.They welcomed Uzbekistan’s proposal to establish a Contact Group to prepare for the upcoming second Summit of the Heads of State of the GCC–Central Asia Strategic Dialogue to be held in 2025 in Samarkand. They encouraged member states to submit proposals and initiatives for the summit early, in order to allow enough time for their consideration before the summit.

29.They expressed deep appreciation to Uzbekistan for the high level of preparation, organization, and holding of the second GCC–Central Asia Ministerial Meeting.

30.They welcomed the invitation of the State of Kuwait to host the third GCC-Central Asia Strategic Dialogue Ministerial Meeting in 2025, during Kuwait’s GCC presidency. The dates and agenda of the event will be agreed upon through diplomatic channels.

Issued on April 15, 2024, Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan.