European Council President Donald Tusk is on a four-day tour of Central Asia from 29 May to 2 June, where he met with Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon on 30 May and praised the EU’s cooperation with all of the Central Asian countries in the areas of counterterrorism, drug trafficking, and violent extremism, as well as climate change.
Tusk also met with President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on 31 May and discussed the energy giant’s ambitious reform programme, including improving the business climate, rule of law, fundamental rights, good governance, and anti-corruption.
“Recently, the European Union defined its Strategy for deepening partnership with Central Asia and with all its countries separately. Kazakhstan is a key partner in this region. Your country is a bridge between Europe and the Far East, as well as between Russia and South Asia,” Tusk told a briefing after talks with Tokayev, on May 31.
In turn, Tokayev noted that the visit of the President of the European Union Tusk to the countries of Central Asia is of particular importance within the framework of the adoption by the European Council of a new Strategy in relation to our region.
“This important document and this visit show that the European side is ready to make its efforts to strengthen political and economic stability in Central Asia,” said Tokayev.
According to him, today’s visit of Tusk opens a new chapter in cooperation between Nur-Sultan and Brussels. The extended partnership agreement, which was signed in 2015, brought our cooperation to a new level. Kazakhstan was the first Central Asian country to sign the New Generation Agreement with the European Union.
“This suggests that our relationship has become stronger and closer. We continue to work actively to deepen the partnership with all leading European countries. The Kazakhstan program “Path to Europe” and the European Union Strategy for Central Asia are examples of our successful cooperation in various fields. Given these achievements, we are optimistic about the future of our relationship. As head of state, I will continue the course towards a constructive partnership with the European Union,” Tokayev said.
Tusk will also meet Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
The trip is meant to show the EU’s commitment to stronger partnerships with the region after Europe launched its new EU-Central Asia Strategy.