NUR-SULTAN, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Central Asian countries and the European Union (EU) on Tuesday agreed to promote cooperation, especially in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic impacts.
During the 16th Central Asia-EU Ministerial Meeting held on Tuesday via videoconference, the ministers and representatives discussed ways to advance Central Asia-EU partnership to tackle the wide range repercussions of COVID-19.
They also reaffirmed determination to promote connectivity and broad cooperation aimed at maintaining peace, security and sustainable development.
The meeting was joined by High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell and foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov stressed the need to take a coordinated action to mitigate the consequences of the coronavirus. He also noted that the deep integration of the region into global economic, transport and transit corridors is a strategic task of the Central Asian countries.
Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov stressed the efficiency of partnership among Central Asia, the EU and the World Health Organization and called for the implementation of the revised EU Strategy on Central Asia proposed in 2019.
During the meeting, the EU presented a new Law Enforcement in Central Asia cooperation project, which will aim to foster closer collaboration in security and counterterrorism. An initiative to eliminate violence against women across Central Asia has also been launched on the occasion.
Since the breakout of the pandemic, the EU has allocated more than 134 million euros (158 million U.S. dollars) to the region as part of the "Team Europe" solidarity package, which are granted to strengthen the health, water and sanitation systems and overcome the socio-economic impact of COVID-19.
During the ministerial videoconference, the participants confirmed their intention to organize a first-ever "EU-Central Asia Economic Forum" in 2021, which will promote innovative and sustainable economic and business development. Enditem