ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev participated in the inaugural C5+1 summit of five Central Asian leaders and United States President Joe Biden on Sept. 19. The summit took place on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, reported the Akorda press service.
President Tokayev along with the U.S. President Biden, Kyrgyz Republic President Sadyr Zhaparov, Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon, Turkmenistan President Serdar Berdymukhamedov, and Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, initiated dialogue aimed at enhancing regional stability, sustainability, and prosperity through economic, energy, and security partnerships within the C5+1 framework.
“I look forward to a future defined by stronger regional security, connectivity, climate action, and governance,” President Biden wrote on his X (formerly Twitter) account.
In his remarks to the summit, Biden particularly emphasized economic collaboration. He announced that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) would convene a C5+1 Regional Connectivity Ministerial in Central Asia in October to explore actions for inclusive and sustainable economic development.
The summit addressed creating a more favorable business environment for U.S. trade and private sector investment. The leaders explored opportunities for American companies in key sectors such as critical minerals, renewable energy, manufacturing, and others.
Acknowledging Central Asia’s aspirations for resilient and secure supply chains, Biden proposed a C5+1 Critical Minerals Dialogue to harness the region’s abundant mineral resources and promote critical mineral security.
The leaders also discussed enhancing regional connectivity via the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, known as the Middle Corridor. Strategies were considered to attract investment into this corridor through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, an essential tool for facilitating regional economic integration and resilience.
On the human rights front, Biden advocated for continued support of civil society and women’s economic empowerment. He also proposed that the C5+1 initiative should incorporate a focus on disability rights across all sectors.
Biden stressed the importance of respecting every nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. He expressed gratitude to Central Asian leaders for their regional security cooperation and pledged ongoing collaboration in border security, counterterrorism, and law enforcement.
In this regard, President Tokayev sought U.S. support for creating the UN Regional Center for Sustainable Development Goals for Central Asia and Afghanistan in Almaty.
The discussions also covered prospects for addressing cybersecurity threats, terrorism, violent extremism, illegal migration, and drug trafficking.
Reflecting on ongoing reforms to improve governance and the rule of law, the leaders reaffirmed their collective commitment to reinforcing their countries’ sovereignty.