Central Asia and EU Strengthen Ties at Historic Ministerial Meeting

ASTANA – The 19th Central Asia – European Union Ministerial Meeting was held in Luxembourg on Oct. 23, reported the Kazakh Foreign Ministry’s press service. For the first time, it brought together foreign ministers of five Central Asian countries and 27 European Union (EU) states.

The 19th Central Asia – European Union Ministerial Meeting. Photo credit: gov.kz.


The Joint Roadmap on Deepening Relations between Central Asian countries and the EU was presented at the meeting, a result of agreements by the leaders of the Central Asian countries and the President of the European Council in Cholpon-Ata on June 2.

The roadmap outlines key areas for practical collaboration, including aligning Central Asian transport infrastructure with the Trans-European Transport Network, developing essential raw materials, funding green projects in the region, and collaborating in areas such as phytosanitary and veterinary measures.

Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Murat Nurtleu, introduced several initiatives concerning agriculture, investment, digital engagement, and the potential of the Middle Corridor. He urged European exporters to more actively utilize the transport route from Europe to Asia.

He also emphasized the significance of climate change cooperation for Central Asia. He highlighted Kazakhstan’s pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, the inauguration of a Central Asian climate and green energy project office in Almaty, and the upcoming hosting of the United Nations Regional Climate Summit in 2026.

Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, emphasized the meeting’s role as a prime example of multilateral partnership. He remarked that intensified collaboration would bolster trade, draw investments, and expand transport and digital connectivity, aligning with key European strategies like the Global Gateway and the Green Deal.

Following the meeting, the ministers adopted a joint communiqué, which reflects the initiatives of Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to host the UN Climate Summit and expand cooperation within the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea.

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