The third High Level Political and Security Dialogue between the European Union and Central Asian countries (Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Tajikistan, Republic of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan) took place yesterday in Brussels. As per the previous dialogue held last year in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was invited to participate.
The meeting was held at the level of Deputy Foreign Ministers and chaired by Ms Helga Schmid, Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs of the European External Action Service (EEAS). Participants included Ms Dinara Kemelova, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr Roman Vassilenko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr Huseynov Muzaffar, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan, Mr Vepa Hajiyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and Mr Hekmat Karzai, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, as well as representatives from the Uzbekistan Mission to the EU.
The meeting followed-up on the EU-Central Asia Ministerial meeting, which took place in Astana on 21 December 2015, with a focus inter alia on economic development and trade issues. The participants exchanged views on a number of key issues of mutual relevance, including counter-terrorism, border management, CBRN, migration or regional connectivity, and how to further enhance concrete cooperation in these areas. The meeting also served to prepare the upcoming Brussels Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan, planned to be held in Brussels on 5 October 2016, and to discuss opportunities for joint programmes to enhance cross-border security and stability. Finally, regional and international issues – including the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran and Syria – were discussed over lunch.
The next EU-Central Asia High Level Political and Security Dialogue will take place next year.