Author: Ednan Shermatov

Tajikistan officially banned the hijab, imposing hefty fines in its latest move to curb Islamic influence. The Central Asian nation of Tajikistan officially prohibited the wearing of hijabs and other “alien garments” this week, as the country’s parliament passed a new bill regulating Islamic clothing and Eid celebrations. The bill, approved by the upper house of parliament, Majlisi Milli, on June 19, comes after years of an unofficial clampdown on the hijab in the Muslim-majority country. Under the new law, individuals wearing hijabs or other banned religious clothing could face hefty fines of up to 7,920 somonis (approximately $700). Companies…

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The past two weeks have seen a succession of high-level interactions between China and the U.S., which analysts see as a positive sign of the two sides to further cooperation and manage differences. In particular, the phone talk between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden accentuated the will of the two sides to carry forward the San Francisco vision and avoid strategic misjudgment and the risk of sliding into confrontation, despite growing divergences. The issue of strategic perception is always fundamental to the China-U.S. relationship, just like the first button of a shirt that must be put…

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President Kassym-Joomart Tokayev approved the new government of Kazakhstan under the leadership of Olzhas Bektenov. The names of the ministers were published on primeminister.kz. Most of the ministers remained from the old government. Four ministers were replaced: Nurlan Baibazarov was appointed Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of National Economy instead of Alibek Kuantyrov, Madi Takiyev became Minister of Finance instead of Erulan Zhamaubaev, Akmaral Alnazarova was appointed Minister of Healthcare instead of Azhar Giniyat, and Chingis Arinov became the new Minister for Emergency Situations instead of Syrym Shariphanov. Members of the government who remained in their positions included First Deputy…

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China’s ongoing pursuit of a cross-border pipeline with Turkmenistan in Central Asia has repercussions for both the region and Australia. In October, China’s President Xi Jinping called for enhancing the China-Turkmenistan comprehensive strategic partnership, having already pushed to speed up the building of the Central Asia-China pipeline’s final leg. The Central Asia-China pipeline is a network of natural gas pipelines that transport natural gas from Central Asian countries – primarily Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan – into China. With a 55 billion cubic metre (bcm) capacity, akin to the Nord Stream 1 in Europe, the 1,833-kilometre Central Asia–China Gas Pipeline presently comprises three sections (Lines…

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Latest Developments The third-most senior Hamas figure, Saleh al-Arouri, was killed on January 2 in a Beirut blast that Lebanese authorities blamed on Israel. Arouri was among at least four people who died in an Israeli drone strike on a Hamas media office in the southern Dahiyeh suburb of the Lebanese capital, a Hezbollah stronghold, authorities said. Israeli officials had no immediate comment. After Yahya Sinwar and Ismail Haniyeh, Arouri was the top-ranked Hamas official. He pursued an especially aggressive Palestinian terrorism strategy, with a focus on the West Bank, where he ordered the 2014 abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers, sparking a…

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Ruhollah Latifi said that Iran exported non-oil commodities worth $40.345 million to Kyrgyzstan in the seven-month period of this year. He also announced that Iran imported commodities valued at $3.997 million from Kyrgyzstan during the first seven months of this year, with 22 percent rise year on year. Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek hosted the 13th Iran-Kyrgyzstan Joint Economic Committee meeting during October 19-21, when the two sides discussing numerous issues regarding the expansion of trade ties. Iran’s Agriculture Minister Mohammad-Ali Nikbakht, who is the Iranian chair of the joint committee, headed a high-ranking delegation to the country in order to meet…

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Asel Nogoibaeva sits up in her hospital bed, with her mutilated face hidden behind bandages so only her eyes can be seen. In a hushed voice, she recounts the day last month when her ex-husband turned longstanding abuse and threats into a vicious attack at the home she shared with her sons in Selektsionnoye, in northern Kyrgyzstan. “He hit me twice on the head with his fists, then began to strangle me,” she says. “I heard my youngest son screaming and crying, then I lost consciousness. I woke up on the kitchen floor. Everything was covered in blood.” Nogoibaeva could not…

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Daler Juma, the Minister of Energy and Water Resources of Tajikistan, and Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Alexander Novak, held discussions about the operation of the Sangtuda-1 hydroelectric power plant (HPP) during the Russian Energy Week in Moscow, Trend reports. The agenda included talks on bilateral cooperation in the energy sector, with a special focus on ensuring mutual commitments for the reliable operation of the Sangtuda-1 hydropower station. Tajikistan’s minister also participated in the Russian Energy Week forum. In his address, Juma emphasized the substantial potential for green energy production and the keen interest in exporting environmentally friendly electricity to neighboring countries. He…

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Authorities in Kyrgyzstan’s southern region of Batken say the border with Tajikistan, shut down more than two years ago following a deadly standoff, can “gradually reopen” after delimitation and demarcation work between the two Central Asian nations is fully accomplished. The Batken regional administration said on August 3 that border issues had been discussed last month by officials of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, adding that the issues of security and safety in areas close to the three nations’ borders were the main focus. The statement came hours after Rajabboi Ahmadzoda, the governor of Tajikistan’s Sughd region bordering Batken, said he and his Batken counterpart,…

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An American court found that Mukhtar Ablyazov stole money from BTA Bank and laundered it in the United States. This is stated in a statement published on the official website of BTA Bank. On July 31, 2023, Judge John G. Költle, Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, reportedly ruled in favor of BTA Bank JSC against Triadou SPV SA for over $193 million. The court’s decision follows a December 2022 jury verdict that held Triadou liable for embezzlement and illicit enrichment. “In addition to the jury’s verdict, the judge, after studying the case…

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