The president of the European Council (EC) and the president of the Republic of Uzbekistan met in Tashkent last week, EC informed via press release.
Presidents Charles Michel and Shavkat Mirziyoyev confirmed in a cordial meeting that ties between Uzbekistan and the European Union have recently been lifted to a qualitatively new level and taken on a comprehensive nature.
The parties praised the ambition of the European Union to deepen relations and regional cooperation with Central Asia and Uzbekistan.
The parties decided to work together to rekindle and further expand their bilateral connections with the EU and Uzbekistan.
The participants remarked that the collaborative structures for bilateral and interregional cooperation were operating well. They indicated their willingness to work together to maximize the effectiveness of their potential and talents.
The parties commended the recent initialing of the Enhanced Partnership and Collaboration Agreement, which is expected to mark a turning point in Uzbekistan and the European Union’s relations and deepen cooperation on a wide range of policy, economic, security, and human-dimension concerns.
The Presidents emphasized their desire for the signing and ratification of this important treaty to occur as soon as feasible.
The European side has reiterated its support for the changes implemented as part of the New Uzbekistan Development Strategy and its hope that they would be long-lasting and permanent.
The Presidents were grateful for the frank discussion and engaged engagement about human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. The parties are committed to advancing the development of this kind of cooperation between Uzbekistan and the EU.
The EU is ready to continue providing comprehensive support in carrying out initiatives and programs in these areas, the President of the European Council underlined with satisfaction the ever-increasing attention of the leadership of Uzbekistan to guaranteeing gender equality, and youth empowerment.
In order to maintain continuity, it has been prioritized to bring the newest technology, best practices, and high standards of EU businesses to Uzbekistan through direct investments.
The Presidents applauded the brisk growth of the EU’s and Uzbekistan’s economic, trade, and investment relations. In this context, providing Uzbekistan with the status of a GSP+ arrangement beneficiary in April last year was also a significant step, allowing a huge number of Uzbek goods access to the EU market.
The Uzbek side explained its plan to form an international group to talk with the Afghan interim administration and come to an agreement on the formula for the parties’ commitments to be fulfilled as soon as possible.
Both parties agreed that an inclusive democratic process and the protection of human rights, particularly those of women, in Afghanistan are essential for long-term stability.