Uzbekistan: a more assertive role in Eurasian processes
With the development of Eurasian transport projects and intra-Afghan processes, international attention has been attracted to Central Asia. And in this region, Uzbekistan has set a goal to become the key player by taking the lead in promoting connectivity projects and ensuring regional security.
Central of all Central Asian countries, Uzbekistan possesses huge potential to serve as a bridge between East & West, North & South. The recent moves of the Uzbek government should be evaluated in this context. The international conference "Central & South Asia: regional connectivity. Challenges and opportunities" (15-16 July) initiated and hosted by Tashkent heralds Uzbekistan`s ambitions to play a more assertive role in both Central and South Asia by ensuring the transport infrastructure of regional and continental significance.
As a double landlocked country, Uzbekistan needs access to the sea, which can be secured through Pakistan`s seaports. Separated from Pakistan by Afghanistan, Uzbekistan is, thus, becoming one of the stakeholders in Afghanistan. To play a more active role in regional security architecture, Uzbekistan has joined Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States in establishing a quadrilateral diplomatic platform designed to support peace and stability in Afghanistan and foster regional trade and business ties.