Kyrgyzstan, EU sign new Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement

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BISHKEK (TCA) — On July 6 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s Foreign Minister Chingiz Aidarbekov and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini witnessed the initialing of a new EU-Kyrgyzstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.

At a press conference following the signature of the Agreement, Mogherini said that over the past years, Central Asia has become increasingly important for the European Union.

“This new agreement will give us new instruments to strengthen our relations in many different fields. It will contribute to implementing the political, rule of law and economic reforms of the Kyrgyz Republic, as well as the modernisation of the country and the prosperity of the people,” Mogherini said.

The EU foreign-policy chief also said the agreement will also help to strengthen what is already a growing economic relationship between the EU and Kyrgyzstan. “Kyrgyz exporters already have preferential access to the European Union’s market, but the new agreement will provide further incentives in particular for improving business environment and attracting investment from European companies. We will also work on connectivity between the European Union and the Kyrgyz Republic, as part of a wider approach to connecting Europe and Asia,” she said.

Mogherini said that the agreement will also open up opportunities for cooperation in other sectors of the economy. It will promote in particular sustainable economic development and increase the capacity to address challenges such as environmental degradation and climate change.

“As education and youth is a priority for both of us, I am today pleased to announce that we signed a new budget support programme, through which the European Union will provide €36 million for the education sector in the Kyrgyz Republic in the coming years,” Mogherini said.

“And we also decided that we want to work together more and more against common challenges, such as the fight against organised crime, cyber-crime or terrorism. We also want to develop exchanges between our people, as well as cooperate on migration and visa policies, on judicial and legal issues,” the EU foreign-policy chief concluded.

Sergey Kwan

TCA