On the Road to Samarkand


Women pick cotton in the town of Andijan, East of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, April 6, 2005. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Siriana Nair serves as Senior Economic Officer in the Office of Regional Affairs in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.

Samarkand, Bukhara, Kabul, Aktau, Dushanbe, Kashgar…the road signs we pass just before leaving the tree-lined streets of Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s capital city, remind us that we’re following the well-worn trails of the ancient Silk Road. At the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, Central Asia was once a global center for the exchange of goods, ideas, and people. Today, the region is among the least economically connected areas in the world. I’m visiting Uzbekistan to explore how the United States can help promote what Secretary Clinton has envisioned as a “New Silk Road,” restoring transit, trade, commercial, and people-to-people linkages between Central and South Asia, with Afghanistan at its heart. 

The idea behind the New Silk Road vision is to use economic… more »

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