Uzbek-Kyrgyz Relations Reach New Heights

09/09/17

Uzbekistan’s President Mirziyoyev visit to Bishkek has been hailed by many as a new chapter in Uzbek-Kyrgyz relations. As both sides agreed to delineate a substantial proportion of their shared border, an issue that has long been a point of contention. This is on top of the reopening of border checkpoints most of which have been closed since the 2010 ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan. Relations between Uzbekistan and its neighbours have been improving since Mirziyoyev ascendance after President Karimov’s death. It is hoped that better relations may help reduce ethnic tensions in Kyrgyzstan between the majority Kyrgyz and the minority Uzbek population. The most startling claim is that Uzbekistan is ready to invest in Kyrgyz hydropower projects, which is surprising due to the use of government forces by both sides in the ongoing Kasan-sai reservoir dispute. 

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev (right) with his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoev in Bishkek on September 5. (RFERL)

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