AKIPRESS.COM - U.S. Department of State officials met with senior delegations from the five Central Asian republics in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Tashkent, Uzbekistan from July 20-23 to discuss progress under the three C5+1 Working Groups — Environment, Economic Connectivity, and Security. The C5+1 is the primary regional diplomatic platform through which the United States and the five Central Asian republics cooperate to advance economic integration, mitigate environmental vulnerabilities, and strengthen security cooperation.
Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs Manisha Singh led the U.S. delegation to the Economic Connectivity Working Group on July 20 in Almaty. Assistant Secretary Singh led a discussion on bolstering connectivity and trade through increasing economic ties, during which participants reviewed current C5+1 economic projects and identified opportunities for future engagement.
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central Asia Henry Ensher led the U.S. delegation to the Environment Working Group, held on July 20 in Almaty, which introduced the Central Asian Regional Electricity Market (CAREM) project to the C5+1.
Mr. Ensher also led the U.S. delegation to the Security Working Group on July 23 in Tashkent. Participants discussed regional counterterrorism efforts and border security cooperation, as well as efforts to counter violent extremism in the region and the launch of the first two Working Group projects, which focus on community engagement in preventing radicalization to violence.