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OXFORD, 7 November 2018 – The Oxford Silk Road Society hosted the “Central Asia, into the 2020's and beyond" conference at the University of Oxford, which brought together academics, experts, diplomats, and students to discuss Central Asia's place and role in international relations.
The Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United Kingdom Erlan Idrissov and the Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the United Kingdom Alisher Shaykhov were the honorary guests of the event, which focused on a wide range of issues related to the topics of policy, security, economy, culture and education in the wider Central Asian region.
Ambassador Idrissov provided the participants with Kazakhstan's understanding of the fundamental political and economic events that have been taking place in the states of Central Asia, which could lay the groundwork for future regional transformation. He highlighted that interstate relations within the region are undergoing fundamental changes, the region's importance is rapidly growing in the system of modern international relations, and intraregional cooperation has developed significantly.
The Kazakh diplomat also drew the audience's attention to the regular political dialogue at all levels among partners in Central Asia, their efforts to expand economic and investment ties, and pursue joint efforts to confront challenges and threats. An important achievement of Kazakhstan's diplomacy in this direction, according to Mr. Idrissov, was the working meeting of the heads of state of Central Asia on March 15, 2018 in Astana. It was the first summit of Central Asian leaders in nearly a decade.
Ambassador Idrissov noted that Kazakhstan adheres to the principle of equality and mutual interests, since each country in the region is of key importance in resolving various issues of a political, economic or humanitarian nature. Kazakhstan respects the position of each country and intends to work closely with all of them.
Event participants had the opportunity to ask questions about the present and the future of Central Asian states and their prospects and priorities both internally and externally. Participants also discussed Kazakhstan's membership in the UN Security Council, which for the first time in history ensured the representation of Central Asia in the primary body of the main global institution responsible for international peace and security.
The forum also heard reports on the economic and political development of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and other Central Asian countries.