The European Union and Central Asian countries are now closer as never before. High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said so addressing the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
"In fact, Europe and five Central Asian countries are closer now than ever. I believe that is more important now than before. The Silk Road is not only a literally memory of the past, but one of the most important infrastructure projects," Federica Mogherini said.
According to the head of the European diplomacy, 'Central Asia is even more than in the past a cross road between Europe and Far East, between Russia and South Asia'.
"Events in Afghanistan or in the Middle East are as important for us, as they are important for our partners from Central Asia. Their security is clear also our security," she emphasized.
"And we see clearly that as the world is changing this region is changing... Central Asia is becoming more independent and stronger - a partner for the East and for the West. Today Central Asian countries are seeking a closer partnership with the EU," she said.
According to Federica Mogherini, European companies are interested in investing in the region to bring benefit both for the region and the European Union.
"Improving the business environment is an interest we share. Also we have launched work on the new generation of agreements on enhanced partnership and cooperation. We have signed one with Kazakhstan, we are negotiating one with Kyrgyzstan and we look forward to opening negotiation soon with Uzbekistan," she said.
Also, she expressed hope that the European Parliament will soon ratify its partnership and corporation agreement with Turkmenistan which was signed in 1998. According to the expert, at the meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers in October there will be presented a draft strategy of the EU for Central Asia which will be approved in 2019. It should be noted that the process of development of the new EU strategy for Central Asia started in September 2017. The previous strategy was adopted in 2007 at the initiative of Germany. Within 10 years it had proved as an effective tool of implementation of EU interests in the region.