Central Asia

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Taliban announce plans to ramp up attacks in Afghanistan (22.04.2015)

The Afghan Taliban on Wednesday announced the start of its annual spring offensive, warning it would ramp up attacks on foreign embassies and government officials, as well as military targets, starting on Friday.

Kazakh leader to extend long rule, promises stability (21.04.2015)

President Nursultan Nazarbayev will extend his nearly 26-year rule of Kazakhstan in an election on Sunday which investors hope will maintain stability in the Central Asian state despite criticism of his rights record.

Foreign fighters are spilling into Afghanistan, helping the Taliban (14.04.2015)

Hundreds of foreign militants are fleeing a months-long Pakistani military offensive and seeking sanctuary in Afghanistan, bolstering the ranks of Taliban factions and triggering one of the bloodiest starts to the spring fighting season in years, according to Afghan officials and analysts.

UN says increase in Afghan civilian casualties from ground operations (12.04.2015)

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says a record number of Afghan civilians have been killed in ground battles in the first three months of 2015.

Uzbek president Karimov reelected, OSCE criticizes vote (30.03.2015)

Vote monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said the Uzbek poll lacked genuine opposition to Karimov and was marred by legal and organizational shortcomings.

Council fears US troop decision will hurt faltering Afghan peace process (30.03.2015)

The official body overseeing the Afghan peace process and other influential players in the region have criticised President Ashraf Ghani for pushing for U.S. troops to stay longer, saying it could hurt the chances of ending the Taliban insurgency.

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.