Wednesday 1 September 2004
August 26, 2004
Central Asia: Japanese Foreign Minister Begins Tour To Unveil New 'Silk Route' Policy
Japan's Foreign Minister Yokiro Kawaguchi arrived in Uzbekistan today, starting a tour that will take her to four Central Asian states and Mongolia. Kawaguchi is due to give a speech in Tashkent that will articulate Tokyo's new policy toward the Silk Route countries. Kawaguchi's trip was already something of a success even before she left Japan, considering the Japanese Foreign Ministry has arranged a rare event in Central Asia -- a meeting in Astana that will include the foreign ministers of all five Central Asian states. RFE/RL correspondent Bruce Pannier looks at Kawaguchi's tour and Japan's new strategy in the region.
August 25, 2004
Report: China, Kazakhstan Considering New Gas Pipeline
25 August 2004 -- Chinese state media has reported that China and Kazakhstan are considering construction of a multi-billion dollar natural-gas pipeline from the Central Asian nation to China's western Xinjiang autonomous region.
August 18, 2004
OSCE: Organization Shifting To Focus Greater Attention On Central Asia, Caucasus
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should consider paying extra attention to Central Asia and the Caucasus. That's the view of the OSCE's current chairman, Solomon Pasi. Pasi, who is also Bulgaria's foreign minister, says it makes sense now to concentrate on those parts of the world, in view of new international realities. He also said it would be "far more useful" to hold the OSCE's major annual economic forum in Central Asia rather than in Central Europe. RFE/RL reports on what looks like a shift in emphasis for the 55-member OSCE, which is Europe's largest security and rights body.
July 30, 2004
Kazakhstan: Opposition Party Sees Fortunes Rise And Fall
Kazakh opposition party Ak Zhol, or "Bright Path," has seen its fortunes rise and fall in the past month. One party co-chairman was named to the influential position of information minister while another was found guilty of slander and barred from participating in September's parliamentary elections.
July 26, 2004
Kazakh Slavery Case Underscores Wider Problem
For four people in southern Kazakhstan, the hope of eking out a meager existence led to a nightmare of human bondage. The story of their descent into slavery underscores a growing problem in a region where extreme economic inequality provides fertile ground for an age-old form of exploitation.
July 22, 2004
Kyrgyzstan: Outspoken Ombudsman Possesses Unique Regional Voice
Central Asia is a region where few dare challenge the will of the presidents. Most officials follow their president's lead, and what attempts there are to find an official to act as a bridge, a mediator, between the people and the government are usually made to serve the interests of the authorities. But there is one man, the ombudsman in Kyrgyzstan, who routinely voices opinions that contradict the government's views.
July 20, 2004
Kazakhstan: Death Of Opposition Journalist Raises Suspicions
Sharipzhan was writing an article about a Nazarbaev (pictured) rival at the time of his death Askhat Sharipzhan, an independent journalist in Kazakhstan who worked mainly on the Internet, died today from multiple skull fractures he sustained after being hit by a car as he crossed the street. It appears the tragic event was simply the result of a traffic accident, but there are some in Kazakhstan who question that.