For the first time ever, all five presidents of the Central Asian republics (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) met in-person with a U.S. president as part of “C5+1” summit on the sidelines of last week’s U.N. General Assembly.
As the Group of Seven met at the end of last week in Hiroshima, Japan, China organized a summit with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, marking a new chapter in Beijing’s engagement with the region. Central Asian states are looking for a new partner to help ensure their own security against domestic rebellions, as Russia’s war in Ukraine has limited Moscow’s ability to fulfill a longstanding role as a guarantor of domestic stability in the region. While most of the summit’s public discussion focused on economic and trade issues, China noted that it would help Central Asia enhance it’s law enforcement and security capabilities, which aligns with Beijing’s intensifying campaign for “global security.”
The peace process that ended the Tajik civil war in the late 1990s successfully combined both official and civic channels of communication and negotiation from its start. This report argues that although the agreement and its implementation were far from perfect, the Tajik experience contains valuable lessons on power-sharing arrangements, reconciliation, reintegration, and demobilization for the architects of future peace processes, and provides important insights into the shortcomings of the 2018–21 peace process in neighboring Afghanistan.