The delegations of the C5+1 including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and the United States participated in an international conference titled “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity. Challenges and Opportunities” hosted by Tashkent during recent days. The participants deliberated on various aspects and issues confronted by the regional states to achieve regional connectivity between Central and South Asia. The C5+1 countries affirmed their commitment for enhancing engagement through this regional diplomatic platform and to strengthen connectivity between the Central and South Asian regions via trade, transport, and energy links. During the summit the leaders vowed to build upon the collaborative progress through connectivity, including Modernize infrastructure and transit potential in Central Asia, regional cooperation in support of transboundary business-to-business connections and people-to-people exchanges, improved energy sector connectivity, and easing trade, transport, and communication between South and Central Asia. The leaders also called for Creation of conducive conditions favorable to the Afghan peace process and for a durable peace through a negotiated political settlement that results in an inclusive political system and respect of the fundamental rights of all Afghans.
In fact, the United States had been actively involved in the Central Asian Republics (CARs) since 2001, mainly for two purposes of creating a strong partnership with the countries to put pressure on Russia and to secure the backyard of Afghanistan in the purview of ongoing war on Terror in the country. Due to these efforts, the US and Uzbekistan enjoyed close cooperation in the war on Terror, Kyrgyzstan hosted the US military for years, and the US had been using Tajikistan Ainy air facility during the past.
Currently, the US-CARs cooperation is very limited and currently it has no military presence in the region. Whereas, Central Asian States had forged strategic partnership with Russia through Russian led platforms Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). These states are also fully linked up with China through Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and mostly are indebted to it. This situation has created anxiety in the Biden administration, and it wants to re-energize its relationships with CARs. The recent conference was only repetition of a years old manifesto without any intent of implementation on ground. The Central Asian States have serious distrust about America and the recent C5+1 conference is just a useless effort by the regional states.