Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan - primary interests for US in Central Asia18 december 2014, 11:51
Tengrinews asked political analyst Dosym Satpayev to give an overview of America’s interests in Central Asia.
According to the expert, there are two countries in Central Asia, to which the United States is paying special attention: Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Satpayev said that the US interest in Kazakhstan lied primarily in the oil and gas sector. And considerable US investments had been made into the country. In addition, the Western partners were interested in Kazakhstan because of its multi-vector foreign policies, given the integration projects with Belarus and Russia.
Uzbekistan is a strategically important partner in terms of regional stability, Satpayev said.
“Stability in this country will seriously affect the stability in Central Asia as a whole. Do not forget that Uzbekistan, unlike Kazakhstan, had an active stance on Afghanistan, keenly engaging in dialogue with the US, NATO and Russia. Washington and Tashkent agreed that the situation in Afghanistan could destabilise further and this would affect the regional security," Satpayev said.
In the beginning of December, the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov received Nisha Desai Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs in the United States Department of State. The officials discussed cooperation and international issues, particularly the situation in Afghanistan.
Satpayev added that from an economic perspective, the US was not very interested in Uzbekistan.
"If you look at the post-Soviet space, in my opinion, there is only one country that maintains investment attractiveness – it is Kazakhstan. Before the sanctions standoff, there were three such countries - Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan. But now there is only our country. And in Central Asia no one is challenging the economic positions of Kazakhstan, although they may not be perfect," Satpayev said.
He expressed the opinion that Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan would adhere to the model of remote partnership, that is, they will actively support the interaction with all major geopolitical players.
Reporting by Dmitry Khegai, writing by Dinara Urazova