Prospects of political and security cooperation btw CA and EU discussed

foreign ministry
Photo: MFA RK

Key issues related to strengthening regional security, enhancing interregional cooperation and international agenda were discussed in the EU headquarters, within the framework of the 11th Meeting of the High-Level Political and Security Dialogue between Central Asia and the European Union (HLPSD), Kazinform News Agency cites the press service of the Kazakh MFA. 

The deputy foreign ministers of Central Asian countries and Deputy Secretary-General and Political Director of the European External Action Service Enrique Mora participated in the HLPSD.

The participants discussed the course of implementation of the Joint Roadmap for Deepening Ties between Central Asia and the EU. They examined the dynamics of transport, trade, economic, energy and climate relations, as well as addressing common security challenges related to the situation in Afghanistan.

In his remarks, Roman Vassilenko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, presented several initiatives aimed at enhancing interregional cooperation with the EU. These initiatives, once implemented, are expected to bring new dynamics into the relations in the areas of energy, trade and water resource management.

Vassilenko highlighted the priorities of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS). He announced a program for continuous monitoring of the basin ecosystem to be implemented over the next three years and the creation of a mechanism for long-term intraregional cooperation on the Aral issue.

In this regard, the Deputy Minister called on the parties to synchronize efforts in the fields of effective irrigation, the operation of water and energy facilities, and the implementation of environmental measures.

According to Roman Vassilenko, Central Asia and the EU today possess a wide range of partnership tools, including sectoral platforms, a trust-based political dialogue and institutional mechanisms. These tools are essential for achieving new qualitative indicators in trade, transport, exports, energy, cross-border development, and other areas. 

This is also observed in the dynamics of the interstate political dialogue within Central Asia, alongside the steady increase in export-import operations across the region and the creation of large regional projects that change the economic landscape and prospects for Central Asia, the diplomat remarked.

The Deputy Minister informed that Kazakhstan is actively preparing to host the 6th Consultative Meeting of the Heads of Central Asian States scheduled for 2024 at which the country is planning to present the region’s cooperation priorities, aimed, among others, at strengthening international subjectivity of the region. This will, in turn, expand opportunities for enhanced interregional cooperation with the European Union.

The Kazakh diplomat also briefed on the results of the first meeting of the Secretaries of the Security Councils of Central Asian nations with the President of Kazakhstan in May 2024. The meeting has a potential to become an effective platform for combining efforts to prevent challenges and threats, as well as to develop the necessary response strategies in the region.

Emphasizing the importance of educational initiatives, human capital advancement and fostering professional networks in the context of interregional cooperation, Vassilenko thanked the European counterparts for the excellent organization of the recent inaugural training for diplomats and officials from Central Asian countries hosted at the College of Europe.

In his turn, Enrique Mora noted that cooperation between Central Asia and the European Union is progressing steadily and that the sides have already started implementing the Joint Roadmap for Deepening Ties between Central Asia and the EU.

He emphasized that the region faces major environmental challenges related to climate change as well as security issues in the context of the situation in Afghanistan.

Noting the similarity of these challenges, the EU diplomat said that Central Asia can continue to count on the EU’s support in addressing them.

Following the HLPSD, the delegations held a meeting with Terhi Hakala, the EU Special Representative for Central Asia, Thomas Nicklasson, the EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Nadia Constantini, the EEAS Representative for combating terrorism and Barton Wegter, the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, dedicated to exchange of views on issues of regional security, strengthening borders, countering terrorism and progress of interregional security programs (LEICA, CADAP, BOMCA).

During his visit to Brussels, the Deputy Minister participated in a discussion hosted by Euractiv, a pan-European media network, on drivers for greater economic and trade cooperation between Kazakhstan and the EU. Janusz Wojcechowski, EU Commissioner for Agriculture, who recently led an agri-business mission of 40 European companies to Kazakhstan; Samuel Doveri Westerbye, Managing Director of the European Neighbourhood Council, as well as Research Coordinator Maryam Agharabi of KIMEP University and Assistant Professor Zhanibek Arynov of Nazarbayev University also took part in the hybrid conference.

The event saw the discussion of promising areas of trade and economic cooperation between Kazakhstan and the EU, existing obstacles hindering their development and proposals to eliminate these barriers.

Currently reading