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Commissioner Piebalgs first visit to Central Asia to ensure EU's support to development in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan

European Commission - IP/10/1508   15/11/2010

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IP/10/1508

Brussels, 15 November 2010

Commissioner Piebalgs first visit to Central Asia to ensure EU's support to development in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan

From 15 to 17 November, the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will travel to Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to discuss the cooperation and assistance that the European Union provides for the two countries. During his visit to Uzbekistan, he will discuss the EU’s support for the country's modernisation reform with President Islam Karimov, the Deputy Prime Minister Elyor Ganiev and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vladimir Norov. In Kyrgyzstan, the Commissioner will meet with highest authorities including President Rosa Otunbayeva, Deputy Prime Minister, Jantoro Satybaldiyev and Ministers of Foreign affairs Kazakbaev. Commissioner Piebalgs will sign a €2 million financing agreement to support Kyrgyzstan in ensuring Food security. He will also visit EU funded projects in the two countries to assess the impact of EU aid in the region.

European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs said: "Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are two important political and economic partners for Europe. In Uzbekistan, I will ensure that the EU is keen to support Uzbekistan’s national reform agenda and modernisation efforts with a renewed focus for the period 2011-2013 on socio-economic development and legal reforms." The commissioner also added that "in Kyrgyzstan, following the peaceful conduct of the legislative elections, which constituted an important milestone towards the democratic stabilisation of the country, I will reaffirm EU commitment to helping the country move towards stability, inclusive and sustainable growth, through diplomatic action and development assistance".

EU-Uzbekistan cooperation

In Uzbekistan on 15 and 16 November, the EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will meet the President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, the Deputy Prime Minister, Elyor Ganiev, and the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Vladimir Norov, to discuss EU cooperation and further development relations with Uzbekistan. The Commissioner's visit demonstrates the strengthening of relations between the EU and Uzbekistan following the 2007 adoption of the EU Strategy on developing a new partnership with Central Asia.

New programmes have recently been approved between Uzbekistan and the EU, focusing on support to the criminal justice reform. A programme to support the parliamentary system will be launched soon. The Commission also supports cooperation work in the energy and environment sectors with a focus on renewable and energy efficiency programmes, notably through the Investment Facility for Central Asia (IFCA).

The Commissioner will visit healthcare and social services projects where the EU is helping to improve health conditions for mothers and newborns and the provision of services for vulnerable sectors of the Uzbek population.

The European Commission is providing €75 million to Uzbekistan for the 2007-2013 period, in key areas such as criminal justice reform, maternal and child health care, inclusive education, civil society grant programmes, enhancing living standards, enhancing rural trade, business climate and business development.

EU-Kyrgyzstan cooperation

The EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will visit Kyrgyzstan on November 16-17. Mr Piebalgs will meet President Rosa Otunbayeva, Deputy Prime Minister, Jantoro Satybaldiyev, and Ministers of Foreign Affairs Kazakbaev, Finance, Justice and Minister of Education.

They will notably discuss EU assistance provided to the country in response to the crisis which occurred last April, as well as on current and future cooperation and assistance to Kyrgyzstan in the areas of social protection and food security, education, infrastructure rehabilitation, and for the promotion of good governance and the rule of law.

On November 17, Commissioner Piebalgs and the Minister of Finance, Chorobek Imashev, will sign a €2 million financing agreement for the improvement of the Food Security Information System in the Kyrgyz Republic. The project will support the Government in improving the collection, analysis and dissemination of food security data across the food supply and food demand chains and the establishment of a government early warning system and a commodity outlook that facilitates the management of food security policies and programmes.

The EU is the largest donor to Kyrgyzstan, providing €118M in for the period 2010-2013, which makes up more than a tenth of the total amount of assistance from international donors' pledges at the Donors Conference held in Bishkek in July 2010. These funds will be used for the implementation of specific projects on strengthening democracy, rule of law and the renovation of important community infrastructure, as well as reform of the social protection and education systems.

Useful links:

MEMO/10/577 on EU-Uzbekistan cooperation framework

MEMO/10/576 on EU-Kyrgyzstan cooperation programmes

EU-Uzbekistan Cooperation

European External Action Service:

http://www.eeas.europa.eu/uzbekistan/index_en.htm

EuropeAid:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/asia/country-cooperation/uzbekistan/uzbekistan_en.htm

EU-Kyrgyzstan Cooperation

EU Delegation in Kyrgyzstan: www.delkgz.ec.europa.eu

European External Action Service:

http://www.eeas.europa.eu/kyrgyz_republic/index_en.htm

EuropeAid:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/asia/country-cooperation/kyrgyzstan/kyrgyzstan_en.htm


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