US diplomat to travel to Central Asian countries to reinforce bilateral relations

A top US diplomat will travel to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, respectively, to reinforce the country’s bilateral relations with the Central Asian states, according to an official statement on Sunday.

“Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu will travel to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan on November 6-11 to reinforce the United States’ commitment to each country’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity and our shared goal of a prosperous, secure, and democratic Central Asia,” the Department of State said.

Lu and his delegation are set to discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues with government officials, most notably in the education, civil society and economic fields.

The launch of an Economic Resilience Initiative in Central Asia will also be discussed by Lu, the statement added.

“Through the initiative, the United States will provide $25 million in funding to bolster regional trade routes and capacity, educate and train a skilled workforce, and attract international investment to Central Asia,” the statement said.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Friday that the Central Asian countries have begun to interact actively with many countries and regional alliances under the C5+1 format, which include the US, Japan, South Korea, China, India, Russia, and the EU.

The C5+1 was formed under former president Barack Obama during the 2015 UN General Assembly. It is the main dialogue platform for the US with regional states.

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