Luxembourg, 24 October 2023 (TDI): The 19th EU-Central Asia Ministerial meeting kicked off in Luxembourg on October 23, where the representatives from the European Union (EU) and Central Asian states exchanged views of fortifying strategic relations between them.

The meeting was chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.

On the part of Central Asia, the Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan participated in the meeting together for the first time with the 27 EU Member States’ Foreign Ministers.

The European Union Commission was represented by the Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen.

During the Ministerial meeting, participants discussed how to advance inter-regional cooperation on common security challenges, connectivity, economic and trade, environment, water and climate, education, science and innovation issues, and people-to-people contacts, promoting deeper ties between the EU and Central Asia.

Furthermore, participants reaffirmed the EU’s and Central Asian country’s determination to uphold the United Nations Charter and the fundamental principles of international law, particularly respect for the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of all States.

Apart from that, the participants reinforced the protection of human rights, proper representation of women and their rights, securing peace and stability regionally and internationally amidst current conflicts, called for the need for peaceful resolutions of disputes through diplomatic means, as well as for building trust and good neighborly relations.

The EU at the meeting also stressed the need to cooperate effectively on preventing circumvention of EU sanctions against Russia through Central Asian territories.

For revitalizing the EU-Central Asia relation, the Foreign Ministers endorsed the jointly prepared EU-Central Asia Roadmap for Deepening Ties between the EU and Central Asia, as proposed by the President of the European Council and the Presidents of the Central Asian States at their meeting in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan on June 2, this year.

Apart from that, the participants from the EU and Central Asia looked forward to holding the EU-Central Asia Investment Forum on sustainable transport corridors connecting Europe and Central Asia on 29-30 January 2024 in Brussels.

Also read: Central Asia and EU Leaders agree on enhancing cooperation and address common challenges

The EU-Central Asia Investment Forum will bring together high-level representatives from the EU and Central Asian states, International Financing Institutions, and the private sector.

The Forum will set the platform to enhance and reinforce transport connectivity between the two regions, building on the findings of the 2023 EU-EBRD Study on Sustainable Transport Connections between Europe and Central Asia.

Finally, the Foreign Ministers looked forward to the first-ever EU-Central Asia Summit, during the first half of 2024 in Uzbekistan.