Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan Move toward Resolution of Longstanding Border Dispute

first_imgAt a meeting last week, March 11, the presidents of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, Sadyr Zhaparov and Shavkat Mirziyoyev, respectively, agreed to open land and air communications between Uzbekistan and the Uzbekistani exclave of Sokh inside Kyrgyzstan. Additionally, they pledged to resolve their disagreement over the disputed Unkur-Too territory, which Tashkent had claimed even though Bishkek has long viewed it as a critical part of Kyrgyzstan because it is the site of a television transmission station that country needs. Their accords, which promise to end this longstanding dispute and open the way to the completion of the demarcation of the border between them, were greeted with enthusiasm because they will allow for expanded trade not only between them but across Central Asia more generally (Turan Today, March 13; Ritm Eurasia, March 14).The sensitivity of this issue—along with an indication that more difficulties may lie ahead—was underscored, however, when senior Kyrgyzstani officials quickly and heatedly denied media reports Bishkek had conceded to “a corridor” between Uzbekistan and Sokh, where 40,000 plus ethnic Uzbeks live (, March 14). Obviously, in this case, as in the one involving transit between Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan, the word “corridor” is a red line that cannot be crossed lest it provoke an explosion of nationalist anger in the country supposedly ceding territory. Transit is one thing, but a corridor is deemed something else (see EDM, March 9, 17;, March 7).That said, the agreement of the two presidents does suggest Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan will be able to complete the demarcation of the borders between them and preclude the kind of violence along their shared frontier that has been an all-too-regular feature there for years. Of the 1,378 kilometers of the border, 85 percent had been demarcated already by 2017 and another 10 percent agreed to but not formally demarcated. Now, the two leaders have committed their governments to reach an agreement on the remaining 5 percent in the next three months, something that seems possible and will allow for China to expand its rail network between and through both Central Asian neighbors (Ritm Eurasia, March 14; see EDM, July 6, 2020).At a minimum, the completion of this demarcation of the Kyrgyzstani-Uzbekistani border—assuming talks do not break down over the use of the term “corridor” or some other thorny issue—promises to prevent future clashes between residents living on both sides. Such violence has broken out repeatedly not just in the post-Soviet period but between the 1920s and the end of Soviet times. Even before 1991, borders mattered because they prevented easy access to water, transportation networks, and pastureland—restrictions that have only intensified for newly independent and nationally sensitive countries. Thus, the demarcation of this border will limit the ability of nationalists in both countries but especially in Kyrgyzstan to play up the issue for domestic reasons (Cabar, March 16). At the same time, the resolution of the issues of access to Sokh and control of the Unkur-Too region marks another step on the way to putting in place borders in Central Asia acceptable to the governments and peoples of the region.Exclaves and enclaves exist in many places around the world. But few regions feature a more complex pattern than does post-Soviet Central Asia. Of the countries in the region, only Turkmenistan lacks any at all. Kazakhstan has two in Uzbekistan but does not have any on its own territory. Tajikistan also lacks any inside its borders but has one in Uzbekistan and two in Kyrgyzstan. Uzbekistan has two Kazakhstani, one Kyrgyzstani and one Tajikistani enclave on its territory; while Kyrgyzstan has one exclave in Uzbekistan and, despite the new accord, still has three Uzbekistani and two Tajikistani enclaves within its borders. Solving each of these will be difficult, and each represents a potential flashpoint for the region.Two Central Asian scholars have devoted extensive articles to these enclaves/exclaves: Salamat Alamanov, who focuses on their history (“Enclaves of Central Asia,” Post-Sovetskiye Issledovaniya, 2018, pp. 451-460), and Tatyana Zvergintseva, who has examined the current state of play about them (“Borders without Friendship: Why Enclaves Have Become a Headache for the Countries of Central Asia,” Fergana News, October 2, 2018). Both point to three possible variants for the resolution of these non-contiguous areas: an exchange of territory, the creation of corridors from the borders to them, and a special regime governing border areas. Zvergintseva, for her part, is skeptical about all of these: “An exchange of territories works and then only with great difficulties regarding small enclaves.” Creating territories also requires major efforts and expense. And establishing a special border region regime works only if the two countries involved are both willing to allow it.But the existence of such a regime “strongly depends on relations between the countries, on the significance of the nationality question and on a common legal culture,” she continues. In many cases, countries prefer to retain the current situation to put pressure on their neighbors or to mobilize their populations about a threat to their nations. And there is another problem many prefer not to talk about, Zvergintseva suggests. If borders are kept relatively open, that allows for the freer flow not only of people and goods but of criminal elements and radical Islamists from one country to another—a challenge that all four of the Central Asian states with enclaves and/or exclaves face.Nonetheless the accord between Bishkek and Tashkent shows that progress is possible, especially when the governments involved want to avoid the kind of clashes that can prove destabilizing and also seek to take advantage of new transportation routes that will open the way for greater economic development.last_img read more

Pinsent Masons brings flexible lawyer service to Hong Kong

first_imgInternational firm Pinsent Masons has capitalised on the growing trend of freelance working by expanding its flexible lawyer service to Hong Kong.The firm said Vario, the flexible lawyer arm it runs, has launched in Hong Kong in ‘direct response to increased demand across the region from both lawyers who want to work differently, and businesses which require a more flexible legal resource’.Matthew Kay, managing director of Vario, said: ‘The legal world is changing, and more businesses need quality lawyers working flexibly. Similarly, we’re seeing a growing demand from lawyers who want to manage their work life balance, whilst enjoying a greater variety of legal work.’Kay said the aim is to recruit a ‘substantial number’ of legal consultants in Asia over the next year. ‘We are looking to hear from lawyers who are keen to work more flexibly,’ he added.Kirsty Dougan, previously managing director at Axiom, will be Vario’s managing director for Asia. She said: ‘This launch is not just about opening another office in the region, it’s about integrating Vario into the legal market in the region and we will be working hard to get out and meet and speak to as many clients and lawyers as we can over the coming months.’Lawyers who work under the Vario model go through an ’on-boarding’ process with the firm but are then free to accept or reject work and can also act for other providers.Pinsent Masons previously said applications to work under the Vario model increased 63% in 2018. The firm launched the service in Australia in 2017 and Singapore in 2018.last_img read more

Carney, Tourelle-Fallon Place Well for UWF at USA Invitational

first_imgCarney, Tourelle-Fallon Place Well for UWF at USA Invitational Karyssa Tourelle-Fallon finished second in the 5000 on Saturday (Photo by UWF Sports Information) Sharecenter_img MOBILE, Ala. – Freshman McKenzie Carney (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North HS) and sophomore Karyssa Tourelle-Fallon (Navarre, Fla./Navarre HS) each posted top three finishes as the West Florida women’s cross country competes at the University of South Alabama Invitational on Saturday.  Carney finished third in the 1500 and Tourelle-Fallon was second in the 5000 to highlight a successful day.“We were pleased with two top three finishes in this meet,” said head coach John Bergen.  “The 5000 meter run was at 3:30 p.m., the hottest part of the day, so this was a race against competitors not a race against the clock.  Karyssa ran a real smart race, sitting about fourth or fifth for most of the race, and closed with a strong final 600 meters to pass South Alabama’s top runner and nearly caught Troy’s Paulson at the finish.”  Morgan Paulson was the overall winner in 19:31.38, with Tourelle-Fallon just behind in 19:32.40 for second.Freshman Ruth Ashley (Altamonte Springs, Fla./Lyman HS) finished sixth overall in 20:02, while sophomore Elizabeth Wiese (Mount St. Mary, N.Y./Pensacola JC) raced to a 10th place finish.“I thought Ruth and Elizabeth raced hard today, and they stayed with the leaders early on to give themselves a chance at a top spot,” said Bergen.  “The early fast pace took away their shot at a PR today, but it allowed them to race competitively for most of the race.  Our final race next week has the 5000 meters in the evening and should set up nice for Ruth and Elizabeth to run their best races.”In the 1500 meter race, Carney posted the Argos’ fastest time of the season.  The freshman took home third place with a personal best of 4:56.37, while Magrina Chepkoech of South Alabama won the event in 4:49.18.  Freshman Renea Porsch (Land O’ Lakes, Fla./Land O’ Lakes HS) finished 12th and sophomore Sabrina Seignemartin (Navarre, Fla./Navarre HS) was 17th.“McKenzie and Renea both ran strong races from start to finish,” said Bergen.  “Their races were very competitive and they both ran about five seconds faster than their previous 1500 meter race.”Both Carney and Porsch also raced in the 800 meter run.  Carney finished fifth overall of the 19 runners in a time of 2:24.72, while Porsch was 13th at 2:33.85.  Melanie Gilbert of Southern University was the 800 meter winner in a time of 2:16.34.Seignemartin also competed in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 1:14.44.  She was scheduled to compete in the steeplechase, but that event was canceled three days prior to the meet.  Seignemartin raced in the 1500 and 400 hurdles to stay ready for the steeplechase at UWF’s next meet.The Argonauts will finish the spring season at Auburn’s War Eagle Invitational on April 15-16, where they will face top NCAA Division I competition.  For information on all UWF Athletics, visit #ARGOS#Women 800 Meter Run Finals1 Gilbert, Melanie Southern                2:16.342 Blackmon, Brittany SE Louisiana          2:22.123 Chepkoech, Magrina South Alabama         2:22.814 Curry, Whitney SE Louisiana              2:24.025 Carney, McKenzie West Florida            2:24.726 Pinkston, Shariece Southern              2:26.607 Leatherwood, Shaquela Stillman           2:27.128 Manogue, Charlotte Tulane                2:28.019 Ramirez, Yazmin Xavier-Louisiana         2:29.1610 Knoblach, Jenna Loyola-New Orleans      2:31.9211 Toups, Lindsey SE Louisiana             2:31.9612 Fitzhenry, Heather SE Louisiana         2:32.5913 Porsch, Renea West Florida              2:33.8514 Burst, Bethany SE Louisiana             2:35.0015 Wilson, Lakeitha Stillman               2:38.2516 Suplee, Kaitlin SE Louisiana            2:40.6517 Savage, Amanda Tulane                   2:41.7018 Curtis, Tamara Troy                     2:55.4119 Upshaw, Jessica Troy                    3:04.74Women 1500 Meter Run Finals1 Chepkoech, Magrina South Alabama         4:49.182 Curry, Whitney SE Louisiana              4:49.493 Carney, McKenzie West Florida            4:56.374 Turlington, Callie Tulane                4:56.385 Crabtree, Katherine Tulane               5:00.776 Fitzhenry, Heather SE Louisiana          5:03.237 Aguillard, Emmi Tulane                   5:04.968 Westmoreland, Brittany South Alabama     5:07.849 Blackmon, Brittany SE Louisiana          5:08.8310 Burst, Bethany SE Louisiana             5:10.0111 Arceneaux, Aimee Tulane                 5:11.5512 Porsch, Renea West Florida              5:12.7713 Toups, Lindsey SE Louisiana             5:21.2914 Coleman, Donye’ Xavier-Louisiana        5:28.9715 Abell, Tavie Tulane                     5:34.3716 Suplee, Kaitlin SE Louisiana            5:34.5917 Seignemartin, Sabrina West Florida      5:40.85Women 5000 Meter Run Finals1 Paulson, Morgan Troy                    19:31.382 Tourelle-Fallon, Karyssa West Florida   19:32.403 Westmoreland, Brittany South Alabama    19:35.724 Righeimer, Vanessa Loyola-New Orleans   19:50.145 Paulson, Allison Troy                   19:56.106 Ashley, Ruth West Florida               20:02.177 Davies, Haley Troy                      20:30.108 McAfee, Emily SE Louisiana              20:33.689 D’Souza, Anna Xavier-Louisiana          21:17.8610 Wiese, Elizabeth West Florida          21:40.2711 Campbell, Cassie Tulane                21:59.1612 Harris, Kendall Troy                   22:40.43Women 400 Meter Hurdles Finals1 St. Etienne, Candice Tulane              1:02.462 Anderson, Maya Southern                  1:03.633 Schwartz, Lindsay South Alabama          1:05.634 Taylor, Ashley Xavier-Louisiana          1:06.235 Doucett, Janessa Southern                1:09.086 Rush, Lachell Southern                   1:13.497 Seignemartin, Sabrina West Florida       1:14.44Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Loan watch: Hartpury overpowered by Ealing

first_imgPhoto courtesy of LNC Images.GKIPA Championship – Ealing Trailfinders 59-5 HartpuryHartpury fell to a nine-try defeat at the hands of high-flying Ealing Trailfinders on Saturday.Tiff Eden, Jake Armstrong, John Hawkins and Sam Graham featured in the GKIPA Championship clash, but the hosts proved too strong for John Barnes’ side in West London.Robbie Smith grabbed the only try of the game for Hartpury midway through the second half, racing on to a perfectly weighted kick through.last_img