Almaty. May 12. Information Center - The pledge
came following a meeting in Brussels on Monday (10 May) of the Co-operation
Council, the body that oversees EU/Kazak relations, writes Colin Stevens,
EU Reporter reports.
The EU said
it “looked forward” to the first official visit of President Tokayev to
Co-operation Council, the 18th to be held, reviewed the progress made in the
implementation of EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement
(EPCA), which entered into force on 1 March 2020.
meeting Kazakhstan's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mukhtar
Tileuberdi and Augusto Santos Silva, minister of state and minister for foreign
affairs of Portugal held a joint press conference.
who led the Kazak delegation, told reporters, “This meeting was a welcome
chance to discuss, in person, the strength of our relationship with the EU and
new opportunities presented by this Agreement.
continues to be our largest trading partner, accounting for nearly half of our
for trade and investment and I hope thiswill continue because the new Agreement
will open up 29 areas of co-operation.”
“We are also ready to create ‘most favourable economic’ conditions for European
companies in Kazakhstan.We also want to strengthen people to people contact,
another important item on our agenda, and hope to facilitate a visa regime for
Kazak citizens wishing to visit Europe, which is also high on our agenda. We
hope to launch discussions soon on this issue.
discussed the ongoing economic and social reforms initiated by our president
which demonstrate our continued commitment to strengthening a range of issue,
including human rights. We also noted the importance of our target
of achieving carbon neutrality.”
“In general, implementation of the Agreement marks a new stage in
our relations with the EU and will pave the way for new
opportunities. I reiterate our firm commitment to continue these
alongside him, Santos Silva said: “We have a very constructive and fruitful
discussions. Our relations have progressed steadily through continued
exchanges in the Cooperation Committee, subcommittees and dialogues.Kazakhstan
remains our main trading partner in central Asia and trade, even in this most
difficult of years, has consolidated.”
minister, who chaired the meeting, noted, “We also discussed good governance,
human rights and engagement with civil society. The EU strongly supports
Kazakhstan in its reform and modernisation process and hopes that these will be
forward to further strengthening our bilateral relations and the EU looks
forward to 1st official visit of the Kazak president when conditions allow.”
to trade, even in a year as difficult as 2020, the EU has consolidated its
position as Kazakhstan’s first trade partner and first foreign investor. Total
EU-Kazakhstan trade reached €18.6 billion in 2020, with EU imports worth
€12.6bn and EU exports €5.9bn. The EU is by far Kazakhstan's first trading
partner overall, representing 41% of total Kazakh exports.
welcomed the progress made in the framework of the high-level platform for
dialogue between the Kazakhstan Government and the EU on economic and business
matters (Business Platform), launched in 2019 and chaired by the Prime
Minister, Askar Mamin. The platform acknowledges the importance of the EU in
Kazakhstan's external trade, and discussions on a range of issues contribute to
attract more investment in Kazakhstan.
Co-operation Council meeting on Monday also provided an opportunity for
reinforced political dialogue and the EU welcomed Kazakhstan’s ratification of
the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and
spokesman told this website that the European Parliament Resolution on Human
Rights, adopted in February, was discussed, and Kazakhstan’s recently announced
third stage of political reform aimed at further democratisation of society.
The EU stressed the importance of “tangible results”, in particular in
addressing obstacles to the independence of lawyers, freedom of expression, as
well as freedom of assembly and association, including trade unions,
independence and pluralism of the media and a thriving civil society. The EU,
said the spokesman, “continues to advocate for the criminalization of domestic
The EU, he
said, appreciates Kazakhstan’s offer to host the third EU-Central Asia Civil
Society Forum to take place in Almaty later this year.
welcomed Kazakhstan's Green Agenda and the EU said it looks forward to the
EU-Kazakhstan Climate Conference on 3 June, in Nur-Sultan, and joint work
towards the COP26 on climate, especially in light of President Tokayev’s pledge
for Kazakhstan to become climate neutral by 2060.
sides also discussed recent developments as regards Central Asian regional
cooperation and the EU thanked Kazakhstan for its active role in promoting
peace, stability and security in the wider region, including with Afghanistan.
Regional security was also discussed, including border management,
counter-terrorism and the fight against drug trafficking.
margins of the meeting, Tileuberdi had a bilateral meeting with the EU High
Representative, Josep Borrell, where they discussed EU-Kazakhstan relations,
including human rights, as well as regional and international developments and
cooperation. Tileuberdi also met with European Union Special Representative for
Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore.