Following summits in 2018, 2019 and 2021, the 2022 meeting comes amid a great number of regional difficulties and concerns. 

On July 21, the five Central Asian presidents will gather for their fourth consultative meeting in Kyrgyzstan, at the Cholpon-Ata resort town on the northern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul.  

There is no shortage of forums at which some of the leaders of the five Central Asian states — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan — meet.  There is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which includes all except Turkmenistan; the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), in which Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan are members; and the Eurasian Economic Union, which includes Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

The idea that the states of Central Asia should have a mechanism to meet together without an external power managing the affair is not new.  The then Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev reiterated calls for the integration of Central Asian countries as a way to jointly ensure the security and prosperity of the region on November 13, 2017, while answering questions at the 3rd session of the Astana Club, a Kazakhstani government-backed international forum aimed at discussing Eurasian issues.  Kazakhstan proposed hosting a Central Asian leaders' summit in Astana in October 2017.

The first Central Asia summit took place in March 2018.  Except not everyone showed up: the then Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov skipped the summit, instead making a state visit to Kuwait, followed by a visit to the United Arab Emirates.  But then-Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev hosted the other three: Mirziyoyev, then-Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon.  It was decided that a second meeting would be scheduled for March 2019 in Tashkent.

But March 2019 came and went, the meeting delayed to April and then to the fall. In November 2019, the Central Asian leaders held their second meeting, this time in Tashkent and immediately after a CSTO summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.  Once again, there was a face missing: Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who had come into power earlier that year following Nazarbayev’s resignation, had attended the CSTO summit in Bishkek but then returned to the Kazakh capital, Nur-Sultan.  Instead, Nazarbayev attended the Tashkent meeting.  Jeenbekov and Rahmon attended, as did Berdimuhamedov.

The third consultative meeting of the heads of state of Central Asia took place in Avaza, on the Caspian shore of Turkmenistan in early August 2021.