XIII ISSYK-KUL Forum on Central Asia and South Caucasus concludes

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Panaji, Nov 9 (UNI) Dr Fatima Kukeeva, Professor of International Relations at the Al-farabi Kazakh National University, Kazakhistan said her country was trying to learn lessons from the economic, social and IT development of India.

''India is one of the major Information technology hubs and a country like Kazakhstan would like to take some models of IT from India,'' she said.

She was participating in the 4-day 13th annual meeting of the ''ISSYK-KUL Forum'' which met at the International Centre, Goa to discuss ''Strategic Dimensions and Internal Situation'' in Central Asia and South Caucasus.

The strategic meeting, with the participation of over 40 top policy makers and academicians from different parts of Central Asia and the South Caucasus as well as Russia, the US, Japan, India and ASEAN concluded here on November 7.

This is the third time the forum met at the ICG in Goa. The first forum met in September 1995 at Lake Issyk-kul in the Kyghyz Republic. Later it met in several countries like Japan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Malaysia and China before settling in Goa.

One of the participants, Dr Temuri Yakobashvili, Executive Vice President of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies said the forum was very important not just for Central Asia but for the South Caucasus.

''We debate very important issues from oil to terrorism and the economic development in the region. We can actually find mutual solutions for various problems confronting the participating countries during the discussions,'' he said.

The objective of these international gatherings, initiated in 1995 by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan, was to discuss the results of an analysis of the situation in the countries of these two regions embodied in the papers presented at four sessions of the Forum earlier.

These sessions focused their debate on Security Challenges for the States of Central Asia and South Caucasus, Intraregional Stability and Prospects for Cooperation, Economic Trends of Central Asia and South Caucasus, Countries of Central Asia and South Caucasus as Energy Suppliers.

Another participant Dr Migara De Silva, a senior economist of the World Bank Institute said the forum provided an opportunity for high ranking policymakers and academicians to discuss and debate the most timely political and economic reform issues.

''The participants are highly influential through different ways.

When they hear the new economic and social developments, they try to implement and influence decision making process in their countries,'' he said.

Director and Chief Executive of ICG M Rajaretnam, said the Forum had over the last 13 years built a good reputation as a platform for frank discussions on issues and problems of the region in a neutral place like Goa.

He hoped that the ICG will become an important platform for discussions on, and training for Central Asia and South Caucasus.

UNI

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