Kyrgyz Republik, Mr Ruslan Kasakbaev, Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Cooperation Council between the European Union (EU) and the Kyrgyz Republic held its eighteenth meeting on Friday, 4 June, via video conference. The meeting was chaired by Mr Augusto Santos Silva from the EU side, Portugal’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, on behalf of Mr Josep Borrell Fontelles, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The Kyrgyz delegation was chaired by the Minister of Foreign affairs, Mr Ruslan Kazakbaev.
The Cooperation Council reviewed the positive development in bilateral relations, including the provisional timeline for the signing of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, as well as EU support for Kyrgyzstan's reforms in the areas of the judiciary, education, rural development and water management, also in view of the multi-annual indicative cooperation programme 2021-2027.
Ministers discussed the strengthening of the rule of law, progress in judiciary and electoral reforms (in view of the Kyrgyz Parliamentary elections expected in the autumn), good governance, anti-corruption efforts and high-profile cases, cooperation with civil society, human rights (including prominent individual cases) and fundamental freedoms. The EU stressed the importance that the legislation implementing the new Constitution follows the 19 March 2021 Joint Legal Opinion on the draft Constitution by the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
The Cooperation Council also assessed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the liberties, human rights, social vulnerabilities, as well as macroeconomic situation and trade, with the objective for the EU to help addressing the most critical needs and risk factors. Both sides exchanged information on their vaccination rollout, recognising the importance of promoting vaccination among the population.
The EU welcomed the intention of the Kyrgyz Republic to host the first EU-Central Asia Economic Forum later this year in Bishkek. To this end, the EU stressed the necessity to ensure favourable investment and business climate in the country and encouraged respective reforms. Both sides discussed trade cooperation under EU’s GSP+ scheme as well as related observance by Kyrgyzstan of the 27 core international conventions.
Foreign Minister Santos Silva and Foreign Minister Kazakbaev discussed opportunities to increase regional cooperation. Particular attention was paid to the recent violent clashes at the Kyrgyz-Tajik border; the EU enquired about the steps and challenges in de-escalating tensions on the joint border, and offered its assistance through its regional programmes dealing with border and water management as well as continued political support. The Cooperation Council also addressed the development of the Kyrgyz Republic's relations with its key partners in the neighbourhood and beyond, as well as well as Kyrgyz's efforts to assist in the stabilisation of Afghanistan.
-4 June 2021