20 ноября 2014 18:25

Kazakhstan calls to update EU strategy for Central Asia


©Tengrinews illustration ©Tengrinews illustration

Kazakhstan has called for updating the EU's Strategy for Central Asia, Tengrinews reports citing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan has called for updating the EU's Strategy for Central Asia, Tengrinews reports citing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan.

According to the press service of the Foreign Ministry, Kazakhstan – European Union Cooperation Committee held a meeting on November 14 in Brussels, where the two sides discussed a number of topics, including development of trade between Kazakhstan and the EU, attracting investment and improving the investment climate.

The Kazakh delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Volkov. His co-chairman on the European side was Gunnar Wiegand, the European External Action Service (EEAS) Director for Russia, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia, Regional Cooperation and OSCE.

"A separate agenda item of the meeting was the issue of updating the EU Strategy for Central Asia and evaluating the implementation of the previous strategy for 2007-2013. According to the head of the Kazakh delegation, Kazakhstan considers the strategy as a tool creating additional conditions for sustainable development of the region and supports the initiative to update it put forward by Latvia as the future chairman of the EU Council in 2015 ," the press release said.

Alexey Volkov said that "EU is Kazakhstan’s major trade partner, and both sides are interested in deepening and unleashing the potential of this partnership in the framework of the new agreement on expanding the partnership and cooperation, the signing of which is scheduled for next year."

Also noted was the fact that over the past 10 years the trade turnover between Kazakhstan and the EU had increased 13 times and the volume of European investment in the economy of Kazakhstan had grown 10-fold.

The delegations also discussed political cooperation, including internal reforms, human rights issues, the rule of law and good governance. During the meeting they reviewed and exchanged opinions on cooperation in the field of energy, transport and environment.

At the end of the meeting the parties agreed to hold the following (15th) meeting of the Cooperation Committee in the fall next year in Astana.

Additionally,  a Kazakh delegation led by First Deputy Prosecutor General of Kazakhstan Iogan Merkel attended the meetings on human rights dialogue and the Subcommittee on Justice and Home Affairs of Kazakhstan and the EU in Brussels. 

The parties discussed cooperation in protection of human rights, implementation of the judicial reform, border management, combating drug trafficking, terrorism, and illegal migration.

Special attention in the course of events was paid to the simplification of visa regime for the citizens of Kazakhstan traveling to the EU.

By Dinara Urazova

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