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On Friday 10 November, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, and the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica will be in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, for the 13th annual EU-Central Asia ministerial meeting.
Ahead of the visit, High Representative-Vice President Mogherini said: "Central Asia is of strategic importance for the European Union. From security to countering radicalisation and extremism, from trade to the support of civil society, the EU and the countries of the region are strong partners. Our annual meeting gives us a chance to review what has been achieved over the past year and to look ahead to a new agenda to foster growth, security and stability in our regions, for the benefit of our citizens."
Commissioner Mimica said: "The European Union is a key partner of the countries of Central Asia - and we are ready to strengthen our engagement with the region. With roughly €1.2 billion in support up to 2020, we are helping the region to develop in a sustainable way. Together with our Central Asian partners, we are supporting initiatives and reforms that aim at job creation, private sector development, promotion of investments, good governance, water management, the provision of education and health services and border management."
The meeting is expected to focus on security, economic, and political issues, as well as the European Union's role in the region, and the High Representative/Vice-President will have a press point together with the meeting's host, the Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan, at 12:00 CET. While in Samarkand, High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini will also deliver a speech at the conference "Central Asia: Shared past and common future, cooperation for sustainable development and mutual prosperity". She will also hold a number of meetings, including with the President of Uzbekistan and the foreign ministers of the Central Asian countries.
The day before, on Thursday 9 November, the High Representative/Vice-President will be in Bishkek to meet with the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Almazbek Atambayev, with the President-elect, Sooronbay Jeenbekov, who was elected on 15 October, and with the Prime Minister, Sapar Isakov. The visit takes place one month after the decision of the Council of the European Union to launch negotiations on a new, ambitious and comprehensive bilateral agreement between the EU and Kyrgyzstan. Coverage of the visit will be available on EbS. Factsheets are available on the EU's relations with Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Central Asia as a region.