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The proposed Central Asian Union, forming the new country of "Turkestan"

A Central Asian Union was proposed by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbaev on April 26, 2007, in order to merge the four Central Asian Turkic republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan into one country, with the proposed name of "Turkestan". If created, "Turkestan" would also include the non-Turkic, but culturally related, republic of Tajikistan.

The proposed Union would primarily deal with interstate border issues, trade, visa regimes, tourism and security. If realized, the CAU/Turkestan would represent a counter-balance to the existing Russian-dominated Collective Security Organization and the Chinese- Russian -led Shanghai Cooperation Organization.[1] In his proposal, the Kazakh President said:

"In the region, we share economic interest, cultural heritage, language, religion, and environmental challenges, and face common external threats. The founding fathers of the European Union could only wish they had so much in common. We should direct our efforts towards closer economic integration, a common market and a single currency."[2]

So far the presidents of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have signed an agreement to create an "International Supreme Council" between the two states.[3] In addition, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan have signed a "Treaty of Eternal Friendship".

Though the proposed union has the support of the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, it was outright rejected by Uzbekistan president Islam Karimov.[4]

Prospective members

Country Population Area (km²) GDP (nominal) GDP per capita (nominal)
 Kazakhstan 15,217,711 2,724,900 $141.1 billion $9,266
 Kyrgyzstan 5,356,869 199,900 $10.764 billion $2,009
 Uzbekistan 27,372,000 447,400 $64.1 billion $2,342
 Tajikistan 7,215,700 143,100 $11.820 billion $1,638
 Turkmenistan 5,110,023 488,100 $49.5 billion $9,687
Total 59,504,723
(24th)
4,003,400
(7th)
$277 billion
(40th)
$4,655
(85th

See also

References

  1. ^ [1]Eurasia Daily Monitor, Accessed: June 15, 2007
  2. ^ [2]The Journal of Turkish Weekly, Accessed: June 15, 2007
  3. ^ [3]Inter Press Service News Agency, Accessed: June 15, 2007
  4. ^ Medvedev Visit Underscores Kazakh Victory Over Uzbekistan For Regional Dominance Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
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