By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The European Council has approved a new strategy for the development of relations with Central Asia, which expresses the readiness of the EU to conclude and implement agreements on expanded partnership with the countries of the region.
The Council welcomes the strengthening of relations between the EU and Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan since the adoption of the first EU strategy for Central Asia in 2007, the EU Council said in a message.
The new strategy focuses on promoting resilience, prosperity, and regional cooperation in Central Asia.
The Council underlined its commitment to conclude and implement ambitious and mutually beneficial Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreements (EPCAs) with the interested countries of the region. These agreements remain a cornerstone of the EU's engagement with Central Asia.
The Council noted that the scope of the EU’s relations is linked to the readiness of individual Central Asian countries to undertake reforms and strengthen democracy, human rights, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, as well as to modernize and diversify the economy, including by supporting the private sector, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, in a free market economy.
The European Council is the EU institution that defines the general political direction and priorities of the EU. It consists of the heads of state or government of the member states, together with its President and the President of the Commission.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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