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Nursultan Nazarbayev has proposed forming the Union of Central Asian States
Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev has proposed forming the Union of Central Asian States. "The agreement on eternal friendship between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan can make a firm basis of this association," Mr. Nazarbayev said during his annual budget report at the joint session of both houses of Kazakhstan's parliament. Other countries of the region (Tajikistan and Turkmenistan) can join the new union, Mr. Nazarbayev stressed. "We have common economic interests, cultural-historical roots, language, religion, economic problems and foreign threats," Kazakhstan's leader said. "Builders of the European Union could have dreamed of such preconditions," he emphasized. "We should transfer to close economic integration, common market and currency," he noted. "Major markets play an important role in global economy," Mr. Nazarbayev added. In his opinion, today "we see obvious rivalry between the great powers for economic domination in our region and we should take the right position on this problem". "Today we can either stay an appendage supplying raw materials and wait for another empire or start serious integration of Central Asia," he said. "I propose following the second path," Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed. "Our further integration is a way to stabilization, stability, progress and economic, military and political independence of the region," he continued. "Only in this case our region will be respected worldwide and we shall be able to provide security, combat terrorism and extremism. Our union meets the interests of ordinary people living in the region," the President said. Four Central Asian countries, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization together with Russia and China. Moreover, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Belarus and Russia form the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The same countries except Armenia make the Eurasian Economic Community. Therefore, the new initiative of President Nursultan Nazarbayev can be regarded as his dissatisfaction of the existing structures on the CIS space.
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