DUSHANBE -- A high-level delegation of European officials led by the European Union's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Josep Borrel, has held talks in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, with foreign ministers from Central Asia over the situation in neighboring Afghanistan. Turkmenistan was represented by a deputy foreign minister.
After talks held behind closed doors on November 22, Borrel said recent developments in Afghanistan, where the Taliban took control in August, require new approaches to the issue of security in Central Asia.
He also expressed hope that relations between the EU and the five countries of Central Asia -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan -- will intensify further in the future.
"Resilience, prosperity & supporting regional cooperation -- these are the priorities set out in the EU-Central Asia Strategy, which remain today more relevant than ever to guide our regional engagement for post-pandemic recovery," he said in a tweet.
The Tajik Foreign Ministry said that, in addition to the situation in Afghanistan, the agenda also included joint efforts to contain COVID-19 and other regional and global issues, including political, trade, economic, and energy cooperation and the fight against terrorism and extremism.
The ministry said earlier that the EU delegation's visit to the country will last until November 24.
It is expected that Borrel will also hold talks with President Emomali Rahmon and then with Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin.
According to the United Nations, millions in Afghanistan may face famine, with almost all the population living in poverty as the economy collapses following the Taliban takeover.
Last month, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said the EU plans to provide Afghanistan with a 1 billion euro ($1.2 billion) support package.