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Senior State Department Official Heads To Central Asia Summit Of Five Countries

U.S. Undersecretary of State David Hale speaks in Chisinau, Moldova, on July 13.

U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale is traveling to Central Asia on a four-day official visit on August 20-23.

The main purpose is to attend a summit of five Central Asian countries in the Kazakh capital of Nur-Sultan on August 21.

Known as the C5+1 format, Hale will meet with Foreign Ministry officials from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan for high-level talks.

“They will discuss joint efforts toward a better-connected, more prosperous, and more secure Central Asia,” according to an August 19 State Department news release.

The C5+1 meeting was established in November 2015 “to address common security and environmental challenges, improve regional trade flows, and enhance prospects for U.S. trade and investment with the region.”

Hale will meet separately with senior Kazakh officials to discuss a bilateral “enhanced strategic partnership and our ongoing close cooperation on…global issues.”

After the summit, Hale is scheduled to travel to Tashkent for meetings with senior Uzbek officials to demonstrate support “for Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev’s reform agenda and encourage deeper bilateral cooperation on issues, including security, education, and trade.”