Central Asian Leaders Adopt Joint Declaration

The leaders of four Asian states - Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan - have signed a joint declaration at the end of a meeting in Tashkent. Presidents Askar Akayev, Islam Karimov, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Emomali Rakhmonov stated that the greatest achievements of the past ten years had been peace and stability in the region. In his speech, Islam Karimov said that there had been not a single event in the past ten years that the leaders could be ashamed of. Nursultan Nazarbayev said that the coalition's defeat of terrorism and drug smuggling in Afghanistan was "a great blessing for our nations." The heads of state discussed pressing regional development problems and international politics during their meeting. They confirmed that mutually beneficial co-operation in the political, economic, science and technical, cultural and other spheres corresponded to the national interests of every country in the region and played an important role in regional and global stability. The adopted declaration stated that the creation of a general infrastructure, in the first place, united energy and transport systems to the foreign market, was a priority area of multi-lateral co-operation.

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