Bahrain News Agency (BNA) and Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported on April 14 that the second ministerial meeting of the Strategic Dialogue between Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Central Asian nations is kicking off in Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, on April 15.  

The meeting will be chaired by Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulrhman bin Jassim Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, who is currently the President of the Ministerial Council, and Uzbek Foreign minister Bakhtiyor Saidov,  

According to QNA, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohammed Albudaiwi said that the meeting confirms the desire of the two sides to boost relations, and their keenness to strengthen strategic dialogue and work to serve their common interests, in accordance with their shared values, interests, and historical ties, and with the Joint Action Plan for the period 2023-2027, they signed in September 2022.

Albudaiwi reportedly added that the discussions will focus on ways to enhance relations between the two sides, in addition to regional and international developments.

Recall, the inaugural Ministerial Meeting of the GCC-Central Asia Strategic Dialogue was held in Riyadh on September 7, 2022.  The event was attended by the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The meeting was chaired by the Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan.

The parties discussed topical issues on the international agenda. Issues of regional security and further steps to establish effective cooperation in trade, economic, investment and cultural spheres were also raised.

Following the meeting, the ministers adopted a Joint Action Plan for 2023-2027, which covers such areas as politics and security, economy, transport, water resources and energy, education, health, culture, youth and sports.

The GCC+CA Strategic Dialogue is aimed at strengthening the political dialogue between the countries and developing interregional cooperation in the trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres.

Meanwhile, the first summit of the GCC and Central Asian nations took place on July 19, 2023.  The summit, the first of its kind, reportedly reflected the keenness of the GCC countries to establish partnerships with the international community in order to enhance the global status of the GCC.

According to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the maximum rate of merchandise exports from the GCC to Central Asia reached 0.37% in 2020, while the maximum rate of merchandise imported by the GCC reached 0.21% in 2021.