Tuesday, June 26, 2012 -
European leaders on Monday expressed the bloc’s commitment to assisting Central Asian republics that want to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Officials of the Council of the European Union voiced that determination at a meeting held to discuss implementation of the EU Council on Central Asia.
“EU actions in relations with Central Asia over the coming years will focus in particular on … encouraging Kazakhstan to make the necessary final steps for swift WTO accession, supporting Tajikistan in their efforts to achieve accession and work with Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan to advance their accession negotiations and applications,” said the Council, according to the Bernama news agency.
Kazakhstan plans to complete negotiations on accession to the WTO before the year is out.
In a concluding statement following the meeting in Luxembourg, the Council noted that Central Asia is facing increasing and new challenges, especially in regards to developments in Afghanistan.
"Central Asia and the EU share a common aim to promote a secure Afghanistan and a prosperous region as a whole," its web site statement says.
The Council outlined the EU’s priority areas as combating common threats and challenges, human rights, rule of law, good governance and democratization, economic development, trade and investment, among others.