Tajikistan holds rotating Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) presidency this year and Dushanbe will host the next meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the CSTO member nations on May 19.

Presided over by Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin, the meeting is expected to be focused on the current state and prospects of development of the international situation and assessment of its impact on security of the CSTO member nations.    

The meeting participants will also exchange views on prospects of further expansion of multifaceted cooperation within the CSTO.

CSTO foreign ministers will also have to discuss and approve decisions that will be submitted for consideration to the autumn session of the CSTO Collective Security Council session.

They are also expected to adopt a number of joint statements on topical issues of the international agenda of the day and cooperation of the CSTO with interested states and international organizations.

The Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs is the advisory and executive body of the Organization for the coordination of the interaction of member states in the field of foreign policy.

The CSTO is a regional security group comprising six countries – Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.

It was initially set up in 1992 at a meeting in Tashkent and Uzbekistan once already suspended its membership in 1999.  However, Tashkent returned to the CSTO again in 2006 The regional security organization was initially formed in 1992 for a five-year period by the members of the CIS Collective Security Treaty (CST) -- Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, which were joined by Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Belarus the following year.  A 1994 treaty reaffirmed the desire of all participating states to abstain from the use or threat of force, and prevented signatories from joining any “other military alliances or other groups of states” directed against members states.  The CST was then extended for another five-year term in April 1999, and was signed by the presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.  In October 2002, the group was renamed as the CSTO.  Uzbekistan that suspended its membership in 1999 returned to the CSTO again in 2006 after it came under international criticism for its brutal crackdown of antigovernment demonstrations in the eastern city of Andijon in May 2005.  On June 28, 2012, Uzbekistan announced that it has suspended its membership of the CSTO, saying the organization ignores Uzbekistan and does not consider its views.  The CSTO is currently an observer organization at the United Nations General Assembly.