Hosted by the Kyrgyzstani government in Bishkek in July 2019, the five Central Asian nations approved a historic agreement with the European Union to improve regional stability.
Foreign ministers from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan voiced support for the new EU Strategy on Central Asia. The strategy aims not only to improve cooperation on economics and trade, but also focuses on freedom of speech, democratization education and security in Afghanistan.
Bilateral relations between Kyrgyzstan and the EU were an important part of the Bishkek meeting. Both sides signed a historic bilateral agreement substantially different from the previous one signed in 1999.
“This agreement is very important. It will provide a legal basis for many projects and effective cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and the EU. And that is our main goal,” then-EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini said.
In September 2019, the EU delivered on one part of its new Central Asian strategy: It pledged 4 million euros to support media, civic organizations and public events designed to help Central Asian citizens resist violent religious extremism.
To deepen the relations with the EU, Kyrgyzstani Foreign Minister Chingiz Aidarbekov proposed that his country host a first-ever EU-Central Asia Economic Forum in 2020. Mogherini welcomed the idea.
Sources: Euractiv, Radio Azattyk, Zona KZ, 24.kg