While in Dushanbe, Ambassador Peter Burian met with H.E. Sirojiddin Muhriddin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan to further develop the already constructive bilateral dialogue between the EU and Tajikistan on issues of mutual interest. In an open and friendly meeting, both sides compared notes on how EU support to Tajikistan could be further enhanced, reflecting the priorities of the new Tajik National Development Strategy as well as the upcoming EU Strategy for Central Asia to be adopted in June 2019. Minister Muhriddin also confirmed Tajikistan's high interest to start the process of negotiations for an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the European Union.
The EU Special Representative for Central Asia reiterated the European Union's support to ensure peace and security as well as on a wide range of issues from strengthening of multilateral cooperation on counter terrorism and illicit drug trafficking measures, to bilateral cooperation on climate change mitigation and natural disaster prevention.
Ambassador Burian also met with H.E. Mr. Ramazon Rahimov, Minister of Internal Affairs, while participating at the Tajikistan Police Reform Management Working Group. At the working group he welcomed the assurances of the Interior Minister Rahimzoda that the reform is not about changing the name or uniforms but about providing the best services for citizens respecting the highest standards and human rights norms.
With the Colonel-General Rajabali Rahmonali, First Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for National Security, Head of the Tajik Border Troops, Ambassador Burian had an extensive discussion on the security situation in Central Asia and Afghanistan and exchanged views on improving connectivity in and of the region. EUSR Peter Burian briefed the Tajik counterparts on the current status of the upcoming EU Central Asia Strategy that is being developed in close cooperation with Central Asian partners. He informed on the forthcoming Ministerial meeting between the EU and CA countries to be held in the region in June 2019.
Ambassador Burian met with H.E. Mr. Rustam Shohmurod, Minister of Justice to discuss the new EU Strategy for Central Asia where the Rule of Law initiative continues to be one of the main pillars. Also the eventual access of Tajikistan to the EU's Special Incentive Arrangement for Sustainable Development GSP+ was discussed. The sides appreciated the eventual launch of Tajikistan's joining the GSP+ regime, which would translate into a zero tariff for Tajik exports to the EU market for more than 6600 good. Ambassador Burian underlined that Tajikistan would gain both economically and with regard to the country’s sustainable development from acceding to the group of GSP+ beneficiary countries.