The foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the European Union discussed the new draft of the EU Strategy for Central Asia at the 14th EU-Central Asia Ministerial meeting in Brussels on Friday 23rd November, and agreed that the next meeting will be held in Kyrgyzstan in the first half of 2019. The European Union is interested in the region’s energy resources, transport corridors and also has plans to expand its influence in Central Asia, including by raising its funding for aid programs.
“Fast changing regional dynamics and the growing importance of sustainable connectivity between Europe and Asia bring Central Asia to the centre of our attention. Countries in the region, especially Turkmenistan, are increasingly looking to the EU as a reliable partner for reforms, modernisation and to face the global challenges of today,” High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said.
The new Delegation will be established in Ashgabat. It will enable the European Union to step up political, economic and sectoral dialogue and cooperation with Turkmenistan. “The decision reflects the EU’s wish to fully engage with Turkmenistan in areas of strategic interest such as security, human rights, energy, climate, and the rule of law,” Mogherini stressed.