Central Asia

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OSCE/ODIHR opens observation mission for early presidential election in Kazakhstan (26.03.2015)

The mission is led by Cornelia Jonker and consists of a core team of 12 experts based in Astana and 30 long-term observers who will be deployed throughout the country in teams of two, from 31 March 2015. In addition, ODIHR will request that OSCE participating States provide 400 short-term observers.

U.S. to slow its Afghan troop withdrawal (24.03.2015)

After talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the White House on March 24, Obama explained his decision not to cut the number of troops to some 5,500 by the end of the 2015, as was originally planned, by saying that "Afghanistan remains a very dangerous place."

Bulgarian national appointed new head of UN regional centre in Central Asia (17.03.2015)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Petko Draganov of Bulgaria as his Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), located in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

UN concerned by Islamic State's ability to unite Afghan insurgents (16.03.2015)

The United Nations is concerned by the presence of Islamic State in Afghanistan but says the militant group's power to unite insurgents is more significant than its capabilities in the war-torn country, a top U.N. official said on Monday.

At Security Council, UN envoy cites renewed hope for Afghan peace process (16.03.2015)

The top United Nations envoy for Afghanistan today said there was renewed hope for the peace process as he briefed the Security Council, which extended the mandate of the UN mission in the country for another year.

Kazakhstan's Nazarbaev says will seek new term (11.03.2015)

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev says he will run for reelection in a snap poll set for April 26. Nazarbaev, already in power for more than 25 years, made the announcement on March 11.

Afghan peace efforts reopen wounds over Pakistan (08.03.2015)

In recent weeks, Mr. Ghani has made concessions to the Pakistanis that would have seemed unimaginable under the last administration, including tailoring anti-militant raids to Pakistani requests.

Why Afghanistan's security forces are dwindling (06.03.2015)

Combat casualties, desertions - a new US report reveals the number of Afghan security forces has dropped as they take on the Taliban with little support from foreign troops. But there also seem to be "accounting" issues.

Slaying of Tajik opposition leader draws Nemtsov comparisons (06.03.2015)

Umarali Quvatov was a fierce critic of Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, the founder of a banned opposition party considered to be extremist by Dushanbe, and a tycoon-in-exile who faced fraud charges at home.

Kazakh President sets date for early presidential election (25.02.2015)

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has announced that an early presidential election will be held on April 26.