Brussels, 23 November 2018 — In a significant step forward for relations between the European Union and Uzbekistan, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, and the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Abdulaziz Kamilov, have today launched negotiations for a new, comprehensive bilateral agreement.
«Having visited Uzbekistan twice in the past twelve months, I have been able to witness at first hand the ambitious reforms that the country is undertaking, as well as the constructive role it is playing in terms of regional dynamics», said the High Representative/Vice-President, Federica Mogherini. «Today, we give a strong signal of a joint commitment to an enhanced, more comprehensive relationship between the European Union and Uzbekistan. A new agreement will allow us to further support the ongoing reforms, to build stronger political and economic ties, and to work together on shared challenges, bringing positive results that directly benefit European and Uzbek citizens.»
The future Agreement will replace the current Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which has been in force since 1999. It is expected that the new agreement will focus, among others, on political cooperation, trade and investment relations, sustainable development and connectivity, as well as human rights and governance.
Substantive negotiations are to start in early 2019, with the aim to make swift progress and to work towards concluding an ambitious agreement as soon as possible.
The launch of negotiations took place today in Brussels in the margins of the 14th EU-Central Asia Ministerial Meeting and the day after the EU–Uzbekistan Cooperation Council.