EU to continue providing assistance to Tajikistan in future as well


January 14, 2010, Avaz Yuldoshev



The European Union is ready provide 60 million U.S. dollars to Tajikistan for modernization of the Qairoqqum HPP in the north of the country and construction of a number of small hydropower plants on the Surkhob River in the eastern part of the republic, Mr. Pierre Morel, EU Special Envoy for Central Asia and Crisis Situations in Georgia, told reporters in Dushanbe today, following his meeting with President Emomali Rahmon.


According to him, they discussed a broad range of issues related to cooperation between the European Union and Tajikistan as well as the progress of implementation of agreements that were reached during last year’s visit of President Rahmon to Brussels.


“Tajikistan is the first in Central Asia to ratify cooperation agreement with the European Investment Bank and the European Union is ready to provide 60 million U.S. dollars to the country for modernization of the Qairoqqum hydroelectric power plant (HPP) and construction of a number of small hydropower plants on the Surkhob River,” said Mr. Morel, “Besides, we are ready to provide humanitarian aid to the tremor-affected residents of the Vanj district and the volume of this assistance will be determined in the near future.”


The EU special envoy also noted that the European Union planned to provide 75 million euros for strengthening of Tajikistan’s pension and retirement system.


The country’s government last year took the wise step of redirecting the agrarian sector from cotton to production of foodstuffs and Tajikistan can count on UE’s support in this case, Mr. Morel said.

He added that he and President Rahmon also discussed the regional cooperation in Central Asia, including use of water-and-energy resources and border control issues.  “To tackle problem arising in these directions the Central Asian nations must carry out constructive dialogue and the European Union is ready to assist with carrying out such a dialogue,” Morel said, noting that they also discussed the latest developments in neighboring Afghanistan.


In his opinion, Tajikistan can play a noticeable role in holding an international conference on the Afghan problems that will take place in London on January 28.


Mr. Morel also noted that one of purposes for his visit to Tajikistan was to discuss with Tajik authorities and political parties the upcoming parliamentary elections in the country.  “Yesterday, I had an open and useful meeting with representatives of political parties of Tajikistan, and I think fair and transparent elections in Tajikistan will be a model for all Central Asia’s countries,” EU special envoy stressed.