28 Feb 2023 18:18

Blinken discusses economy, bilateral cooperation with Kyrgyz, Tajik, Turkmen FMs, Kazakh president

WASHINGTON. Feb 28 (Interfax) - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has met with Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Jeenbek Kulubayev, Turkmen Foreign Minister Rasit Meredow, Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin, and Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Astana, the U.S. Department of State said on Tuesday.

While meeting with Tokayev, Blinken addressed bilateral interests and "the ways in which both countries can strengthen United States-Kazakhstan economic partnership and enhance regional connectivity." He voiced U.S. support for Tokayev's reform program and expressed hope it would be implemented. He also declared the U.S. commitment to interact with the Kazakh authorities and civil society.

While meeting with Kulubayev, Blinken addressed economic development and investment in green energy. The sides "discussed opportunities to bolster economic development and investments in green energy," the department said.

"The Secretary commended the Kyrgyz Republic's efforts to strengthen regional connectivity, diversify its economy, and deepen bilateral commercial ties," it said.

While meeting with Meredow, the secretary addressed "options for partnering on the climate crisis, security, and economic growth initiatives," the department said.

While meeting with the Tajik foreign minister, Blinken "discussed the ways in which both countries can better collaborate on economic opportunities and security cooperation through both bilateral and multilateral formats," the department said. He also noted the need for close cooperation between the United States and Tajikistan in Afghanistan affairs. "Secretary Blinken underscored the United States' commitment to being a reliable partner to Tajikistan," the department said.

The negotiations took place on the sidelines of a meeting in the C5+1 format (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan plus the United States) in Astana.