Asia - Pacific

EU Council head, Central Asian leaders emphasize interregional cooperation in Astana

Participating leaders reaffirm commitment to continue building ‘strong, diversified, forward-looking partnership’

Burc Eruygur  | 27.10.2022 - Update : 28.10.2022
EU Council head, Central Asian leaders emphasize interregional cooperation in Astana


President of the EU Council Charles Michel discussed interregional cooperation and regional issues with leaders of the Central Asian countries in the first high-level EU-Central Asia meeting on Thursday in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.

“The participants summarized the past period of multifaceted and mutually beneficial cooperation between Central Asian states and the EU and reaffirmed their commitment to continue building a strong diversified and forward-looking partnership underpinned by shared values and mutual interests,” a joint press communique said following the meeting.

The communique noted that all leaders underlined their “full respect for international law and their commitment to uphold the UN Charter” and its values.

“The President of the European Council welcomed the efforts of Central Asian leaders to strengthen regional cooperation and connectivity as set out in the joint statements of the consultative meetings of Central Asian heads of state,” the communique further said.

It added that the EU's contribution to intensifying economic development after the pandemic, in addition to the support and expansion of trade, investment and business, was “appreciated” by the Central Asian leaders.

Common concern over the situation in Afghanistan and the need to “expand interaction in providing humanitarian aid to the Afghan people” was also recognized, according to the communique.

“The leaders noted the positive outcome and potential of cooperation between Central Asia and the EU in border management and security, in the joint fight against terrorism, transnational organized crime, human trafficking, migrant smuggling, trafficking in small arms and light weapons, transnational drug trafficking and cybersecurity threats in accordance with universal principles,” the communique highlighted.

The leaders praised the meeting while also agreeing to meet on a regular basis.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev participated in the meeting on behalf of their countries.

Meanwhile, Turkmenistan was represented by the country’s deputy chair of the Cabinet of ministers.

Kazakhstan and its capital have been a hub of political activity in recent weeks, hosting an array of international forums and summits that included Russia and countries outside of the West.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was in Astana two weeks ago for the first Central Asia-Russia summit, a meeting of leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the sixth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, which was also attended by Türkiye and China.

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