The Cooperation Council between the European Union (EU) and Kazakhstan held its
thirteenth meeting on 24 July 2013, the EU Council reported.
The meeting was chaired by Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius, as head of the EU delegation. The delegation of Kazakhstan was led by Deputy Prime Minister Yerbol Orynbayev. Also present were Chief Operating Officer of the European External Action Service David O'Sullivan and EU Special Representative for Central Asia Patricia Flor.
The Cooperation Council discussed a number of issues of importance to both parties, notably political reforms, rule of law and human rights, trade and economic relations, regional cooperation in Central Asia (including water, energy and environment) and international issues.
Within the meeting 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. In this context, the Cooperation Council called on the Central Asian partners to search for a sustainable settlement regarding water management, security and energy issues in the region, which would take into account all interests and preserve unity in the region.
The Cooperation Council also reaffirmed the commitment of both parties to see relations strengthen across a number of areas and took stock of the progress made since the twelfth Cooperation Council between the EU and Kazakhstan in June 2011.
Moreover Cooperation Council confirmed interest in further negotiating and concluding a new enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Kazakhstan and the European Union as soon as possible.
The Cooperation Council reiterated the importance of a comprehensive implementation of the EU Strategy for Central Asia both on a regional and national basis and welcomed Kazakhstan's involvement in the EU regional initiatives for Central Asia. Developments were discussed as regards concrete flagship initiatives, such as on the Rule of Law, Education and Environment.
The Cooperation Council welcomed the positive results of negotiations on the accession of Kazakhstan to the World Trade Organization. The EU expressed support for membership of the Republic of Kazakhstan of the WTO which will help dismantle remaining trade barriers and further boost bilateral trade.