Uzbek president: Water issue may cause conflict in Central Asia

The water issue may cause a conflict in Central Asia, Uzbek President Islam Karimov said during a meeting in Astana today.

"Water problems may cause conflicts" the Uzbek president said. "This is a serious confrontation. It may even become a cause of war in the region."

He added that it is necessary to solve the problem of transboundary Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers.

"The issue of rational use of water resources has been discussed at a meeting with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev," President Karimov said.
"I am glad that we have a mutual understanding in this issue," Karimov said.

At present, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are interested in the use of these rivers to get energy, forgetting that the Amu Darya and Syr Darya are transboundary rivers, the Uzbek president said.

When the matter rests in transboundary rivers, it is necessary for countries to adhere to the international norms and conventions, Karimov said.

The President said that the Kazakh and Uzbek peoples live in the lower reaches of the two rivers. They fall under the threat of flooding due to the construction of two large hydroelectric power stations - Rogun and Kambarata.

Karimov said that while implementing these projects, the parties must think about the situation after the construction of the stations.

He stressed the importance of conducting the international expertise of these projects and achieving agreement of all parties in this issue.

"We appeal to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to solve the problem with water resources in the region together," the Kazakh President said in a joint statement with the Uzbek counterpart.