EU-Tajikistan Cooperation Council to meet

The Cooperation Council between the EU and Tajikistan will hold a meeting via video conference today. The meeting—held within the

Photo THA

Photo: THA

The Cooperation Council between the EU and Tajikistan will hold a meeting via video conference today.

The meeting—held within the framework of the EU-Tajikistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement—will examine ways to develop bilateral relations via development assistance and trade. For the EU, it is an opportunity to assert its support for reform and other efforts undertaken to improve the socio-economic situation in Tajikistan.

The EU is cognizant of the strategic importance of Central Asia in terms of energy, security and trade and has expressed interest in deepening its relations in the region to position itself vis-à-vis Russian and Chinese strategic ambitions.

Tajikistan relies on the EU to cope with financial difficulties and the development of closer ties with the EU offers opportunities to diversify its economy and exports. Expect Tajikistan, the poorest country of the former Soviet Union, to request new financial assistance to support its economy and push for the opening of negotiations for a new bilateral agreement with the EU, like those taking place with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Nevertheless, such a move could be perceived by Russia and China as a direct challenge to their respective positions in Central Asia and create friction.

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