EU and Central Asian Ministers Agree to Forge Closer Relations

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Mukhtar Tileuberdi participated in the 16th EU-Central Asia ministerial meeting held Nov. 17, where European Union and Central Asian countries reaffirmed their commitment to forging closer ties.

During the meeting. Photo credit: Kazakh Foreign Ministry

The virtual meeting also gathered the foreign ministers of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, first deputy foreign minister of Kyrgyzstan, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell and Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen.

The meeting participants discussed the consequences stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic for the region and stressed their readiness to work together to promote resilience, prosperity and a green, sustainable and inclusive post-Covid recovery. 

The EU diplomats said they are ready to partner with countries in carrying out reforms, facilitating their integration into the global trade network and closer regional cooperation. The EU also commended the initiatives aimed at promoting closer regional cooperation in Central Asia, including border management, trade, people-to-people contacts and hydropower management. It also praised the regional solidarity and support during the pandemic. 

The Kazakh government recently said the country will provide Kyrgyzstan with 400 sets of mobile medical ventilators for intensive care units and two million medical masks produced at Kazakh enterprises on behalf of Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as part of the fight against coronavirus. Kazakhstan rendered humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in the first months after the Covid-19 outbreak. 

The meeting also focused on the key role of science, technology and innovations in facilitating economic diversification, boosting productivity and competitiveness and Central Asia’s greater integration in the global economy. 

Increased cooperation in transportation, infrastructure and digital technologies to promote greater connectivity between Europe and Asia was also discussed during the meeting. 

The participants expressed their determination to organize the first EU and Central Asia Economic Forum in Bishkek in 2021 and welcomed Uzbekistan’s initiative to organize the EU and Central Asia tourism forum. 

The next ministerial meeting will take place next year in Dushanbe. 

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