Minister of State Niels Annen is visiting Kazakhstan’s capital Astana and Almaty from 17 to 18 September. There, he will engage in political talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs Kairat Abdrakhmanov and Nurlan Onzhanov, Aide to President Nazarbayev, as well as in discussions on the situation of the German minority in Kazakhstan. The visit to Almaty will focus entirely on civil society and economic relations. The Minister of State will also visit the Kazakh-German University to learn first hand about the water problems in Central Asia.
Minister of State Annen will then travel on to Uzbekistan from 19 to 21 September. In Tashkent, political talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulaziz Kamilov, Deputy Prime Minister Tanzila Narbaeva and Deputy Chairman of the Senate Sodiq Safoyev are on the agenda. Minister of State Annen will give the keynote speech at the conference “Uzbekistan and Germany: cooperation in the field of security and sustainable development in Central Asia”. In Samarkand, he will visit the German-Uzbek joint venture launched by MAN.
Prior to his departure, Minister of State Annen said:
I am very much looking forward to my first official visit to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. During my political talks, I will be focusing on issues of regional security and new initiatives for regional cooperation, particularly with regard to Afghanistan. The European Union’s connectivity strategy for Central Asia will also play a prominent role in the talks. In addition, I would like to learn more about the reform processes initiated by President Mirsiyoyev in Uzbekistan. Democracy and the rule of law are absolutely vital for the entire region. For that reason, I will, of course, also meet with representatives of civil society in both countries.
Germany has a long tradition of ties with the Central Asia region and was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the five Central Asian countries Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
In 2007, more than ten years ago, under Germany’s EU Council Presidency, the European Union’s strategy for Central Asia was adopted, in which political guidelines for our engagement in the region were developed for the first time. On 19 September 2018, the European Union will issue a Joint Communication on a future EU strategy on connecting Europe and Asia.
As recently as spring 2018, a 70 member business delegation from Germany visited Uzbekistan.