Headlines from the Caspian: May 8, 2023
Author: Caspian Policy Center
May 8, 2023
Energy and Economy
Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan Sign Agreements to Modernize Transport Infrastructure
On May 5, at the 20th bilateral Intergovernmental Commission in Tashkent, Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov and Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov signed the Roadmap to Accelerate the Establishment of the International Center for Industrial Cooperation (ICIC) Central Asia and the Joint Plan of Practical Actions in Labor Activity and Migrant Workers’ Rights. Smailov further emphasized the importance of modernizing transit infrastructure to boost their economic relations.
Source: Astana Times
Security and Politics
Uzbekistan Announces Presidential Election
On May 8, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev announced that an early presidential election will be held within the next two months, although no specific date has yet been set. The announcement comes amid Uzbekistan’s constitutional referendum. The results of the referendum made changes to the constitution, one of the changes being extending the presidential term from five to seven years. The early presidential election is, according to Mirziyoyev, his relinquishing his remaining three and a half years on “his own initiative.”
Japarov Arrives in Moscow ahead of May 9 Events
On May 7, President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov arrived in Moscow to hold discussions with president of Russia Vladimir Putin. Following these discussions, Japarov presented a memorial in Rzhev that commemorated the Kyrgyz soldiers that fought in World War II. His visit coincides with the Victory Day Parade that occurs on May 9 to celebrate the end of the Second World War.
U.S. Secretary of State Blinken Says Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Agreement is “Within Reach”
On May 4, after three days of discussions with Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken stated that “we are really in reach of an agreement.” He added “tangible progress” was made and “we’re determined to continue to help our friends achieve it.”
Source: U.S. Department of State
EU to Host Upcoming Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Talks
European Council President Charles Michel is set to host peace talks between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev in Brussels May 13-14. The agenda has yet to be set, but this will be an important follow-up to the discussions held in Washington, DC, on May 1-4.
Sources: Astana Times, Politico, RFE/RL, U.S. Department of State