At the Oqsaroy November 28, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov met with Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission.
Greeting the leader of EU’s external action service, the head of our state noted that the present meeting provides with a good opportunity for an exhaustive analysis of the current state of relations between Uzbekistan and the European Union and for mapping out priority directions of the development of cooperation.
For the past few years, a considerable experience has been garnered across interaction areas, while a robust institutional foundation of cooperation has been spearheaded in the form of the existing bilateral and multilateral bodies. The principal normative document regulating these relations is the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement signed 1996 in Florence.
The January 2011 highest-level meeting of Uzbek and EU leaders in Brussels and the documents those talks produced have helped shore up the relations into a qualitatively new level. The mutual trade turnover grew by nineteen percent last year to reach 2.36 billion US dollars. The favorable trend has kept the pace this year, as well.
The two sides reinforced shared willingness to continue to work together toward a more diversified mutual trade and more encouraging conditions, toward the European capital’s more extensive investment presence in Uzbekistan, and toward implementation of joint schemes cashing in the available resources and advanced technologies.
The parties to talks stressed mutual interest in upholding direct contacts among public and nongovernmental institutions in cultural and humanitarian, academic and educational as well as other spheres.
The meeting also served as a venue to discuss regional affairs and a range of individual issues pertinent to security and stability in Central Asia, including those related to developments in Afghanistan.
Catherine Ashton thanked President Islam Karimov for a warm reception and the environment for a thorough and constructive exchange of views on bilateral relations along with key issues on the international and regional agenda. The EU’s top diplomat confirmed the willingness of the Union to build longer-run and mutually advantageous relations with Uzbekistan.
Also, other topics of interest for Uzbekistan and European Union have been addressed during the meeting at the Oqsaroy.