DUSHANBE - During his meeting with President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon (pictured right) in Dushanbe, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the successful and stable development of the Central Asian countries is in the interest of both Estonia and the European Union’s security and well-being.
At the meeting, the foreign minister expressed satisfaction over the fact that Tajikistan’s relations with the European Union have developed rapidly after the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement came into effect in 2010. “The goal is to facilitate development and establish good administrative practice in Tajikistan. Other goals include the development of agriculture, land reform, public sector reform and economic reforms, development of infrastructure, energy efficiency, and increasing the capabilities of civil society,” he added.
Paet also noted during the meeting that in general there are many opportunities for co-operation between the European Union and Central Asia. “For example, we feel it is important to intensify economic and trade relations and engage in greater co-operation in the transport and energy sectors,” he stated. “Estonia supports implementing the European Union’s Central Asia Strategy,” he added.
Tajikistani President Rahmon stated that Tajikistan is interested in Estonia’s experiences with reforming its society. Paet stated that Estonia is also ready to share its experiences and support Tajikistan on its road to the World Trade Organization (WTO). “We hope that Tajikistan’s negotiations for joining the WTO will come to a close by the end of this year,” he added.
The Estonian foreign minister added that hopefully the new transport and energy connections between Tajikistan and Afghanistan will be completed soon, as they would create more opportunities for economic development. Paet stated that regional co-operation for preventing cross-border crime, fighting against the narcotics trade, and strengthening the border police are important for the stabilization of Afghanistan.