In a significant show of support for Central Asia, UK Minister Leo Docherty embarks on a high-profile visit to Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. This visit marks the most senior diplomatic engagement between the UK and Kyrgyzstan in over a decade, highlighting the growing importance of the region in global affairs.
Following the Foreign Secretary’s trip to Kazakhstan in March, the UK government remains steadfast in its commitment to reinforcing ties with Central Asia during a time of economic uncertainty caused by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.
During his tour, Minister Leo Docherty will not only commend the political reforms unfolding across Central Asia but also champion British expertise aimed at supporting the region’s sustainable economic development.
The visit to Kyrgyzstan, in particular, serves as a significant milestone in diplomatic relations, as Minister Docherty meets with senior government officials including the Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister to reaffirm the UK’s dedication to enhancing energy security, fostering climate cooperation, and bolstering trade ties.
Central Asia’s strategic position, spanning Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, while bordering influential nations such as Russia, China, and Iran, underscores its immense importance on the global stage.
During his discussions with officials and business leaders, Minister Docherty will explore emerging opportunities for British enterprises, aligning with the Prime Minister’s agenda of fostering economic growth within the UK.
The War in Ukraine and it’s Global Effects
The repercussions of Russia’s involvement in Central Asia are notable, particularly regarding trade, energy, and economic migration. The illegal invasion of Ukraine has resulted in profound consequences for the region, leading to rising food and energy prices, exacerbating the dependence on Russian trade and energy.
Recognizing the challenges at hand, Minister Leo Docherty emphasizes the urgency of addressing the evolving global security landscape, encompassing the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and the economic uncertainties caused by Russia’s actions.
Speaking ahead of his visit, Minister Leo Docherty, who bears responsibility for Central Asia, emphasizes the significance of supporting political reforms and sustainable economic development as crucial elements for the region’s long-term stability and prosperity.
This commitment underlines the UK’s role as a close strategic partner, determined to bolster Central Asia’s journey towards progress.
Minister to Go Horseback Riding
In addition to official engagements, Minister Docherty will embark on a horseback tour of the Chunkurchak Mountain Gorge, showcasing a UK-supported business, Kyrgyz Twins Adventures.
This tour company spearheads efforts to create a more inclusive tourism sector for individuals with disabilities in Kyrgyzstan.
By benefiting from the UK’s Enterprise and Innovation Programme, which promotes a stronger, diversified, and more inclusive private sector in the region, Kyrgyz Twins Adventures represents a shining example of collaboration and support.
The tour continues in Almaty, the business capital of Kazakhstan, where Minister Docherty will build upon the Foreign Secretary’s previous visit to Astana in March. Discussions will revolve around potential cooperation in critical minerals, clean technology, and agriculture.
Additionally, the Minister will applaud Kazakhstan’s unwavering support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, engage with civil society groups to address reforms, and anticipate the upcoming annual UK-Kazakhstan Strategic Dialogue, scheduled for this autumn.
Important Visit to Uzbekistan Their World Trade Organization Accession
Concluding the tour in Uzbekistan, Minister Leo Docherty will meet with counterparts in the Foreign and Trade Ministries to reinforce defense and trade ties. Key points of discussion will encompass cooperation in counterterrorism and security, while reaffirming the UK’s support for Uzbekistan’s accession to the World Trade Organization and ongoing domestic reforms.
Minister Leo Docherty’s visit serves as a testament to the UK’s commitment to Central Asia’s well-being and progress amidst a challenging geopolitical climate.
By fostering partnerships, promoting sustainable economic development, and engaging in diplomatic dialogue, the UK government aims to solidify its role as a close and valued partner to the region.