in Xi'an, People's Republic of China, Ruslan Kazakbaev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, hosted the Second Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Central Asia-China format

On 12 May 2021 in Xi'an, People's Republic of China, Ruslan Kazakbaev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, hosted the Second Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Central Asia-China format.

During the meeting, the sides discussed topical issues of strengthening political mutual trust, further promoting mutually beneficial regional cooperation, implementing joint projects, promoting transport connectivity and ensuring uninterrupted trade, deepening relations on ensuring regional security and counteracting contemporary challenges and threats.

As the COVID-19 coronavirus infection continues around the world, the parties commended China's achievements in preventing the pandemic, controlling the epidemiological situation and ensuring sustainable socio-economic development, and expressed appreciation to PRC for its assistance to CA countries in combating the coronavirus.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the parties expressed their commitment to continue assisting each other in strengthening public health, developing cooperation in the field of infection prevention and treatment tools, vaccines, modern and traditional medicine, and improving practical cooperation algorithms for timely response to epidemics.

The Foreign Ministers noted the great potential of inter-regional cooperation, which is one of the important components of the partnership between the Central Asian countries and the PRC. Its expansion will contribute to the formation of new points of growth for practical cooperation.

The parties agreed to strengthen twinning between regions and cities, enhance transport connectivity, unlock the potential of Central Asian countries for transit transport, create a "green corridor" to facilitate cross-border cargo movement, increase border crossing capacity, promote international rail links and ensure the stability of regional production and supply chains.

The heads of foreign ministries noted the importance of peaceful settlement of the situation in Afghanistan while respecting its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and expressed support for international efforts to build a consensus between internal and external parties on Afghanistan. The need to implement the Road Map on further actions of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group was stressed.

The parties agreed that for effective deepening of inter-regional cooperation, maintaining peace and harmony in the region, ensuring security and stability in Central Asia and striving to resolve all emerging issues through mutual consultation and negotiation were of key importance.

In his speech, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic R.Kazakbaev informed the parties about the situation around the spread of coronavirus infection in the Kyrgyz Republic and the fight against it. He noted the importance of addressing food security issues.

The Kyrgyz side considers the 'One Belt, One Road' initiative as an important source and impetus for the implementation of joint projects and infrastructure development. In this regard, the early practical implementation of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project should be a significant step towards unlocking the full transit potential of the Central Asian region.

Minister Kazakbaev expressed his hope that the Torugart and Irkeshtam BCPs on the Kyrgyz-Chinese state border would be fully operational as soon as possible and noted the importance of improving the efficiency of green corridors for transit freight transport to stimulate regional trade and economic cooperation.

The Kyrgyz side is also interested in stepping up cooperation in the joint construction of the Digital Silk Road and development of e-commerce. In this regard, the head of the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry informed the parties about the work carried out by the new Kyrgyz leadership to improve the investment climate and protect the interests of foreign investors in Kyrgyzstan.

At the end of the meeting, the foreign ministers of the states of Central Asia and the PRC adopted:

-Memorandum       on the establishment of a format for meetings of the CA-PRC Foreign Ministers;

-Joint   Statement on Cooperation to Combat COVID-19;

-A joint         statement on Afghanistan;

-A joint         statement on further deepening interregional cooperation.