Kyrgyzstan Embraces Regional Counterterrorism Initiative

Kyrgyzstan reaffirmed its support for a counterterrorism strategy that would encompass the entire Central Asian region under the auspices of the United Nations.

Kyrgyz Deputy Foreign Minister Azizbek Madmarov made the commitment in a meeting with U.N. Undersecretary-General of Counter-Terrorism Vladimir Voronkov on March 4 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

The high-level meeting occurred during a global conference called “Regional cooperation of Central Asian countries within the framework of the Joint Action Plan for the implementation of the U.N. Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.”

The origins of the strategy lay with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who helped launched the regional initiative at the 75th session of the U.N. General Assembly in 2020. In addition to Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan have expressed support for the strategy.

The strategy for Central Asia includes a series of related goals. It aims to strengthen the capacities of Central Asian states to enforce counterterrorism programs, including greater coordination among regional militaries and police.

It wants to build resilience among young people to resist terrorist propaganda and reduce social problems conducive to terrorist recruitment. Another goal is to promote a culture of tolerance among different religions and ethnicities.

Conference attendees recognized hurdles to enforcing the strategy in light of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the Taliban’s history of sponsoring religious violence and extremism. 

Sources: United Nations, Kyrgyz Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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