Dushanbe will host the 17th EU-Central Asia Ministerial meeting on November 22.

According to some sources, the meeting is expected to address the status of the inter-regional cooperation in the framework of the 2019 EU Strategy for Central Asia, as well as the European support for mitigating the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

The Diplomat says that for Tajikistan, a hot topic is the launching of negotiations for an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA), already in force with Kazakhstan since March 1, 2020, agreed with Kyrgyzstan in 2019, and in negotiation.

Recall, the previous 16th EU-Central Asia ministerial meeting took place on November 17, 2020.  The meeting took place through video-conference, given the restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  It ended with adoption of a joint communique.  . 

The participants, in particular, reaffirmed their joint commitment to forging a strong, ambitious and forward-looking partnership that builds upon the strong mutual interests between the two regions. They reaffirmed their commitment to work together for peace, security, universal human rights, democracy and 

They emphasized the particular relevance of the priorities set out in the EU Strategy on Central Asia adopted in 2019 in the current context and for the future development of the region. 

The EU and Central Asian representatives reaffirmed the importance of progressing on the rule of law, democratic governance, gender equality and universal human rights, which is a key element for EU cooperation with its partners around the world. 

The participants stressed the need to intensify cooperation in the promotion of sustainable connectivity between Europe and Asia in infrastructure, transport and digital, building upon the EU’s Strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia and on the opportunities that would be provided under new EU financial instruments to leverage private investment in the region. 

The participants agreed that a complete and immediate ceasefire be needed to advance in the comprehensive intra-Afghan reconciliation process, and a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan free of terrorism is necessary for the development of the entire region. 

Relations between Tajikistan and the European Union are governed by a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, signed in 2004 and in force since 2010, which sets up the political, economic and socio-cultural framework of bilateral cooperation. Tajik President has conducted several visits, either to Brussels or to Strasbourg, and was interested in advancing cooperation with the European Union and NATO, in order to continue to receive financial assistance and aid.  There was much focus on the situation in neighboring Afghanistan.