UK Minister Promotes British Expertise and Steps Up Engagement in Central Asia


Europe Minister Leo Docherty visits Tajikistan and Turkmenistan to champion UK climate and business expertise in the region.

In a region of growing importance for the UK’s prosperity and security interests, Europe Minister Leo Docherty will champion UK business in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and the role UK expertise can play in the transition to clean energy.

Building on a successful visit to the region last month, he will cement UK support for the region as a close and valued partner, as they deal with the economic uncertainty caused by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and the security situation in Afghanistan.

Looking ahead to the visit, Minister responsible for Central Asia Leo Docherty said:

Since their independence, the UK has been unwavering in its support for security, stability and prosperity of Central Asian states.

I am here to highlight the role that UK expertise can play in tackling some of the region’s most pressing climate and security challenges.

During his first official visit to Tajikistan, the Minister will visit Nurek Dam, the largest dam in Central Asia. He will highlight the role UK expertise can play to help Tajikistan deliver clean secure energy and address climate risks.

With security officials, he will also explore deepening UK-Tajikistan counter terrorism cooperation in the face of the situation in Afghanistan and encourage further demarcation of the border with Kyrgyzstan following deadly clashes in 2022.

In the first visit to Turkmenistan by a UK Minister since 2015, Docherty will push for reductions in methane emissions and outline the opportunities to strengthen efforts to tackle climate change in the region, while offering the UK’s support for domestic reforms in the country.

In a demonstration of hands-on diplomacy, he will champion UK-Turkmenistan textile and cultural links at the Turkmen carpet museum, host to the largest hand-made carpet in the world.

Throughout the visit, Minister Docherty will hold talks with officials and business leaders to discuss emerging opportunities for British businesses, delivering on the Prime Minister’s priority of growing the UK economy.

This visit also delivers on a commitment to visit all countries of Central Asia, a region of huge strategic importance straddling Europe, Asia and the Middle East and bordering Russia, China and Iran.

On the return from Tajikistan, the Minister will also visit Istanbul to explore areas the UK and Turkey can bolster energy security and infrastructure in the Central Asia. He will also welcome the growing diversity of UK tourism in Turkey.

A record 3.8 million UK tourists visited Turkey in 2022, with numbers expected to increase in 2023.

He will also pledge the UK’s continued solidarity with the Turkish people as they continue to recover from the devastating earthquakes earlier this year.

Source : UK Goverment