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Brussels, 22 February 2010

6754/10 (Presse 40)

Brussels, 23 February 2010 - EU Press release

The Cooperation Council between the European Union (EU) and the Kyrgyz Republic held its eleventh meeting on Tuesday, 23 February 2010. Mr Ángel Losada Torres-Quevedo, Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, was chairing the meeting on behalf of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The Kyrgyz delegation was headed by Mr Kadyrbek Sarbaev, Foreign Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The Cooperation Council discussed a number of issues of importance to both parties, including implementation of the EU Strategy for Central Asia across different priority sectors, political reforms, rule of law and human rights, water related issues, regional cooperation in Central Asia and international issues.

The Cooperation Council reaffirmed the commitment of both parties to see the EU-Kyrgyz Republic relations strengthen across a number of areas, especially in the context of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the Kyrgyz Republic, which still needs to be fully exploited, and the overall framework provided by the EU Strategy for Central Asia. It welcomed progress achieved in the implementation of the EU Strategy both on regional and national basis, and commended Kyrgyz contribution to that end. It looked forward to further progress on this.

The European Union welcomed the parliamentary approval of the Kyrgyz law on accession to the 1989 Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on the abolition of the death penalty on 11 February 2010, by which the Kyrgyz Republic reinforced its commitment not to use the death penalty. The EU side, however, expressed its strong concern about the deterioration of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Kyrgyz Republic.

It called for an urgent and comprehensive action by the Kyrgyz authorities to address these issues. The EU side also urged the Kyrgyz authorities to demonstrate strong practical commitment to reform, which the EU stands ready to support. It stressed the urgent need to strengthen administrative capacities and the judiciary system as well as to improve the investment climate in the country.

The Cooperation Council underlined the importance of regional cooperation in Central Asia as an effective means of conflict prevention and socio-economic development in the region and welcomed the active role the Kyrgyz Republic is playing in different regional and bilateral initiatives. In this context, the Cooperation Council called on the Central Asian partners to search for a durable settlement regarding water management and energy issues, which would take into account all interests and preserve good cooperation between countries in the region. Special attention was also given to discussion on international issues, including Afghanistan and Iran.

The Cooperation Council called for closer cooperation of the parties in the framework of international organisations and support for the constructive role the OSCE is playing in the Kyrgyz Republic and the region of Central Asia.

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