Sixth meeting of the Cooperation Council between the European Union and Tajikistan reviews the state of bilateral relationship

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The European Union and the Republic of Tajikistan held their sixth Cooperation Council meeting on 15 May 2017.

According to press release issued by the European Union, the Cooperation Council reaffirmed the commitment of both parties to strengthen relations in a number of cooperation areas, and took stock of the progress made since the fifth Cooperation Council meeting between the EU and the Republic of Tajikistan in February 2016.

During the Cooperation Council, the European Union reaffirmed its continued political and financial support for Tajikistan, under the current EU-Central Asia strategy. The delegations discussed ways to overcome the difficult economic circumstances that Tajikistan is facing, as well as security threats emanating from religious radicalism and violent extremism.

The European Union emphasised the need for Tajikistan to ensure the respect for the rule of law, fundamental freedoms and human rights as essential elements to guarantee both political stability and socio-economic development.

The Cooperation Council reiterated the importance of a comprehensive implementation of the EU Strategy for Central Asia, both at regional and national levels. It welcomed Tajikistan's active engagement in the European Union's regional initiatives for Central Asia. Development cooperation was also discussed, in particular relating to the three flagship initiatives in the area of the rule of law, education, and environmental protection. Other areas of mutual importance covered in the meeting included political reforms, financial assistance, the investment climate, religious freedoms and border security.

The Cooperation Council also addressed regional developments in the energy sector as well as security-related challenges. The stability of Central Asia is of common interest to Tajikistan and the European Union, and both will seek to increase their cooperation in this area.

The EU was represented at the Cooperation Council by Mr George Vella, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Malta, representing the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The delegation of Tajikistan was led by Mr Sirodjidin Aslov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan