Co-operation Council between EU and Tajikistan holds its first meeting
Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 13 / Trend E. Ostapenko /
The Co-operation Council between the European Union (EU) and the Republic of
Tajikistan (hereafter Tajikistan) held its first meeting on Monday, 13 December 2010 in Brussel, the EU said.
On the occasion of its inaugural session, the Cooperation Council reaffirmed the commitment of both parties to see the EU-Tajikistan relations strengthen across a number of areas, especially in the context of the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement between the EU and the Tajikistan, which entered into force on 1st January 2010, and the overall framework provided by the EU Strategy for Central Asia.
The EU was represented by Mr Janos Martonyi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Hungary, chairing the meeting on behalf of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Mr Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner for Development. The Tajik delegation was led by Mr Khamrokhon Zarifi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan. The EU Special Representative for Central Asia, Ambassador Pierre Morel, also took part in the meeting.
The participants welcomed progress achieved in the implementation of the EU Strategy both on regional and national basis, and commended the active contribution of Tajikistan to that end, including the hosting of a High level EU-Central Asia meeting on the Rule of Law Initiative in Dushanbe in June 2010.
The Co-operation Council provided a good opportunity to review recent economic and social reforms in Tajikistan, a message said. The EU side stressed the importance for Tajikistan to continue its efforts to fight against corruption and to improve the investment climate in the country.
The Co-operation Council held an in-depth discussion on the issues of water, environment and energy, in particular in their regional dimension.
The Co-operation Council underlined the importance of regional cooperation in Central Asia as an effective means of conflict prevention and socio-economic development in the region. In this context, the Cooperation Council called on the Central Asian partner countries to search for a durable settlement regarding water management and energy sharing issues, which would take into account interests of all sides.
The EU recalled the importance of continuing progress in democracy, rule of law and human rights, in view of the widening and deepening of bilateral relations between the EU and Tajikistan.
Special attention was also given to discussion on international issues, including Afghanistan and Iran.