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September 21, 08

NEWS / Uzbekistan Against Union of Central Asian States, for Free Trade Union with Kazakhstan

“For us, the initiative to form a Union of Central Asian States is unacceptable. I want to declare once and for all so that no speculation remains, “ announced the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov at an April 22 press conference, commenting on the results of his meeting with the president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, reported Kazakhstan Today on the same day. “Such a union presupposed first a comparable level of economic and social development among participating states,” said Karimov, adding that “the politics of these countries should also not be contradictory.” Karimov noted that a unification of the region has already been attempted in the past. “In 1998, the TsAES (the Central-Asian economic union) was created, in 2001, it was refashioned into the TsAS, and in 2005, TsAS ceased to exist and the states entering into it were united in the EvrAeES,” the president reminded. “There was a lot of desire and effort to create this Union, but these attempts have only led to conflict,” he said.

Meanwhile, as reported by Kazinform, as a result of the bilateral talks, an agreement regarding the establishment of a free trade zone between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan was reached by the two presidents. The initiative is aimed at increasing the commodity turnover between the two states.

This information was originally published on April 22, 2008. (www.kz-today.kz, www.inform.kz)
-- 04/29/2008



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