The seventh meeting of the EU-Tajikistan Cooperation Council, chaired by Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl, whose country currently holds the rotating European Union presidency, took place in Brussels on November 22, news.tj reports.
The two sides reportedly discussed state and prospects of further expansion of political, economic and security cooperation between Tajikistan and the European Union.
They also discussed issues related to bilateral cooperation in the frameworks of international organizations.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin noted that the European Union is actively participating in economic development programs in Tajikistan and noted that Tajikistan is interested in further expansion of cooperation with the European Union.
Ms. Karin Kneissl, for her part, pointed to the necessity of creating favorable investment climate.
“Within the framework of our cooperation the multi-annual indicative program 2014-2020 Tajikistan-EU has been signed and this document referred to development programs with an emphasis on investments. But an appropriate favorable climate is needed for this. We discussed this issue today and me as representative of the European Union received quite a detailed information,” Ms. Kneissl said.
Meanwhile, the European Council website notes that the European Union shares the goal of the Tajik government to establish conditions of political stability and security. We also reiterated our willingness to support Tajikistan in its reform process and its efforts to improve the socio-economic conditions of the citizens of Tajikistan.
The Cooperation Council reportedly reviewed the positive development of bilateral relations, including political, judiciary and economic reforms, the rule of law, trade, investment and energy relations, and international issues. The Cooperation Council also discussed questions of good governance and strengthening civil society as well as measures to improve the business climate. The EU reiterated the importance of a stability-oriented macroeconomic policy and a further progress in public finance management.
Tajikistan expressed its interest in opening negotiations on a new bilateral agreement with the EU.
Human rights were also discussed, including Tajikistan's efforts on preventing domestic violence.
The EU confirmed its continued support to Tajikistan in its reform process, and in its endeavors to improve the socio-economic conditions of the population, as well to fight corruption. The EU welcomed the beginning of operations of the first unit of the Roghun hydro power plant.
Tajikistan expressed appreciation for the consultations on the envisaged EU Central Asia Strategy and on the implementation of the EU Connectivity Strategy.
The Cooperation Council welcomed the encouraging perspectives for further cross-border cooperation in the region and beyond. Tajikistan’s efforts towards the stabilization of Afghanistan were particularly highlighted, in view of the Geneva's Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan (November 27-28).
The Cooperation Council also exchanged views on other current political and security issues.