Next EU-Central Asia Ministerial Meeting to be held in 2020 in Brussels: EU ready to support projects that would link Central Asia and Afghanistan
The Foreign Ministers of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission met on 7 July 2019 in Bishkek for the 15th EU-Central Asia Ministerial Meeting.
The participants reaffirmed their joint commitment to forge a strong, diversified and forward-looking partnership that builds upon the positive dynamics underway in Central Asia and the strong mutual interests between the two regions. They reaffirmed their commitment to work together for peace, security, human rights, democracy and sustainable development in full respect for international law.
The Foreign Ministers of Central Asia welcomed in that respect the new EU Strategy on Central Asia adopted by the EU Member States on 17 June 2019, which focuses the EU’s commitment to the region on partnering for resilience and prosperity, as well as investing in regional cooperation. The EU emphasised its commitment to mobilise all its policies and instruments in line with the objectives of the Strategy and to strengthen its role as a partner for the Central Asian countries in their reform process, as a supporter of their integration in the world trading system, and as a supporter of their regional cooperation efforts.
In line with the EU Strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia, the participants agreed to work together to promote sustainable connectivity. The participants also highlighted the importance of supporting as appropriate the involvement of Afghanistan in EU-Central Asia cooperation initiatives and projects and to strengthen connectivity between Central Asian countries and Afghanistan.
The participants stressed the importance of Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreements as a cornerstone of relations between the EU and the Central Asian countries.
The participants welcomed the first “EU-Central Asia Forum”, held back-to-back with the Ministerial meeting, as a key opportunity for the civil societies of the two regions to contribute to the development of the EU-Central Asia partnership. They welcomed the proposal made by the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic to host the first EU-Central Asia Economic Forum.
The Foreign Ministers expressed special gratitude to the High Representative Federica Mogherini for her significant contribution to the development of the cooperation between the European Union and Central Asia during her period in office.
The participants expressed their deep appreciation to the Kyrgyz Republic for hosting the meeting and agreed to meet in 2020 in Brussels.
The European Union is ready to support the projects that will link Central Asia with Afghanistan. Strengthening of relations of this country with its neighbors could give a very positive impetus and support to peaceful negotiations that are ongoing, EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said following the 15th EU-Central Asia Ministerial Meeting held on July 7 in Bishkek.
The EU adopted not only the strategy for Central Asia, it is aimed at enhancement of relations, she said.
A particular attention will be paid to investments in local communities and sustainable projects, she added.
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