Tajik President Emomali Rahmon today morning flew to Kyrgyzstan to participate in a July 20-21 Central Asian summit of Central Asia at the Cholpon-Ata resort town, which is officially called the Fourth Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia.
According to the Tajik president’s official website, foreign minister, minister of transport and some other high-ranking state officials are accompanying Rahmon on his working visit to Kyrgyzstan.
The meeting is taking place just weeks after some countries of the region have seen social unrest.
This summit is the first meeting of heads of state in the region since Russia -- which is not a participant in the meeting -- launched its so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24.
It is to be noted that previous summits have produced just general agreements on cooperation and nothing else.
According to Radio Liberty, many experts who talked to it said they believe the five presidents will touch on such issues as the Taliban's takeover in neighboring Afghanistan and this year’s social unrests in the regions.
Analysts say the heads of state of Central Asia will discuss political and economic cooperation after violent unrest in some countries of the region and a change in attitudes toward Russian influence in the countries of the region.
Following summits in 2018, 2019 and 2021, the 2022 meeting comes amid a great number of regional difficulties and concerns.
The idea that the states of Central Asia should have a mechanism to meet together without an external power managing the affair is not new. The then Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev reiterated calls for the integration of Central Asian countries as a way to jointly ensure the security and prosperity of the region on November 13, 2017, while answering questions at the 3rd session of the Astana Club, a Kazakhstani government-backed international forum aimed at discussing Eurasian issues. Kazakhstan proposed hosting a Central Asian leaders' summit in Astana in October 2017.
The first Central Asia summit took place in March 2018. Except not everyone showed up: the then Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov skipped the summit, instead making a state visit to Kuwait, followed by a visit to the United Arab Emirates. But then-Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev hosted the other three: Mirziyoyev, then-Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon. It was decided that a second meeting would be held in 2019 in Tashkent.
The Central Asian leaders held their second meeting in Tashkent in November 2019, immediately after a CSTO summit in Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek. Once again, there was a face missing: Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who had come into power earlier that year following Nazarbayev’s resignation, had attended the CSTO summit in Bishkek but then returned to the Kazakh capital, Nur-Sultan. Instead, Nazarbayev attended the Tashkent meeting. Jeenbekov and Rahmon attended, as did Berdimuhamedov.
The third consultative meeting of the heads of state of Central Asia took place in Avaza, on the Caspian shore of Turkmenistan in early August 2021.