TASHKENT (TCA) — On July 17, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov, in Brussels, attended a meeting of Uzbekistan-European Union Cooperation Council and met with Stefano Manservisi, Director General of the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO), and Helga Schmid, the Secretary General of European External Action Service (EEAS), Uzbekistan’s official Jahon information agency reported.
As a logical continuation of the meeting which was held in Tashkent on July 14, the priority directions of further deepening of cooperation between Uzbekistan and the EU were discussed, taking into account the readiness of the parties to strengthen and develop cooperation, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry said.
As a result of the negotiations, Abdulaziz Kamilov and Stefano Manservisi signed the Financial Agreement between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the European Union on the implementation of “The Horticulture Development Project”. The Project, which comes into effect from the moment of signing, stipulates the EU allocation of grants in the amount of 21.5 million euros for the modernization and strengthening of the material and technical base of scientific research institutes under the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources of Uzbekistan.
It was the first meeting of the EU-Uzbekistan council since 2015 and the highest-level political meeting between the European Union and Uzbekistan since the death of longtime Uzbek President Islam Karimov in 2016.
EU officials told RFE/RL on the eve of the meeting that they hoped for “renewed engagement” with Uzbekistan, encouraged by some liberal steps taken by President Shavkat Mirziyaev, who came to power after Karimov’s death.