Central Asian leaders meet with German chancellor, affirm closer cooperation on ‘Middle Corridor’
Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany hosted a summit with leaders from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, amid the EU member states' efforts to establish geopolitical partnerships in the Central Asian region, Euronews reported.
During the summit in Berlin, the leaders from the five Central Asian countries discussed ways to enhance regional cooperation and boost economic ties. A significant focus of their discussions was the development of the 'Middle Corridor' route, which aims to develop trade routes in Central Asia that allow Europe and China to bypass Russia when conducting trade.
In a joint declaration, the leaders expressed their commitment to advancing the Middle Corridor and securing financing for infrastructure projects as part of the Global Gateway initiative.
Catharina Claas-Mühlhäuser, chairwoman of the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, described the meeting as "historic" and proposed five key areas for intensifying cooperation: energy, raw materials, agriculture, transportation and vocational training.
The Central Asian leaders have affirmed their adherence to the global sanctions imposed on Russia. Central Asian countries have previously faced accusations of supplying Russia with goods it cannot obtain due to sanctions related to the conflict in Ukraine.
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also pledged to increase future oil deliveries to Germany as Berlin seeks alternatives to Russian imports. He indicated Kazakhstan's willingness to provide long-term and expanded oil supplies in response to Germany's request.
Kazakhstan has initiated the construction of a new 152-kilometre Darbaza-Maktaaral railway line on the border with Uzbekistan, the press service of the Kazakh prime minister has announced.
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