The EU Special Representative for Central Asia, Ambassador Peter Burian paid a visit to Dushanbe on 16-18 September 2019. In his keynote speech at the International Conference "Tajikistan and Cultural Diplomacy in Central Asia and Eurasia" at the Tajik National University, he emphasised the importance of education, digital and people-to-people connectivity for the development of the human capital -the rapidly growing Tajik young generation. In a discussion, students of the National University expressed a strong interest in ErasmusPlus, the EU university exchange programme. Following up on the themes of cultural diplomacy and job creation, Ambassador Burian exchanged views with representatives of business organisations and civil society and visited several outlets of handicrafts and garment production based on traditional Tajik artwork.
Ambassador Peter Burian met with H.E. Sirojiddin Muhriddin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan, to exchange view on developments in the region and bilateral cooperation between the EU and Tajikistan. In an open and friendly meeting, the sides discussed possibilities for further development of the EU support to Tajikistan, in the light of the priorities defined in the new Tajik National Development Strategy and the EU Strategy for Central Asia adopted in June 2019.
The EU Special Representative for Central Asia reiterated the European Union's support to ensure peace and security and promote regional cooperation in a number of areas including border management, counter terrorism and fight against organised crime, climate change mitigation and disaster risk reduction. A new upcoming project, will aim to increase the capacity of rescue teams to prevent and effectively manage natural disaster situations. This has been discussed with Lieutenant-General Rustam Nazarzoda, Head of the Committee for the Emergency Situations and Civil Defence. The project will be implemented in cooperation with the OSCE.
In a press briefing, the EU Special Representative explained the key elements of the new EU Strategy on Central Asia adopted on 15 May. Through the Strategy, the EU sends a strong message of a continued support to the region and commits to support resilience and prosperity of Central Asian countries, and promote regional cooperation.
Ambassador Burian also participated at the Tajikistan Diplomatic corps Football Tournament drawing procedure, where the team of the EU Delegation to Tajikistan will play with the other Embassies and International organizations.