28 Feb 2023 13:38

C5+1 interaction to benefit C. Asian nations as well as U.S. - Blinken

ASTANA. Feb 28 (Interfax) - United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said he expects his upcoming meeting with the foreign policy chiefs of the Central Asian nations to strengthen regional ties.

"We're grateful to you, we're grateful to your team for bringing together Central Asian partners here in Astana today. I look forward to working with our fellow foreign ministers to really engage in even - and ever-more practical work in bringing the region together, creating greater connections, connectivity, and focusing on practical things that we can do to strengthen that work. And I think it will be to the benefit of people living throughout Central Asia, but also to the United States," the Kazakh presidential press service quoted Blinken as saying while meeting with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Tuesday.

"We're committed to that engagement at the highest levels, and I'm just so pleased to be here to advance even further the cooperation that we have," Blinken said.

In concluding the conversation, Tokayev asked Blinken to convey his best wishes to U.S. President Joe Biden.

Blinken arrived in Astana for an official visit in the early hours of Tuesday. Apart from negotiations with Tokayev and Kazakh Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi, Blinken is also to attend a C5+1 ministerial meeting with the foreign ministers of the Central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan).