The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005URL (Internet address) : http://www.eu2005.lu/en/actualites/communiques/2005/05/11pe-schmit1/
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Nicolas Schmit: "The European Union believes that our relationship with Central Asia is of tremendous importance"
The Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Nicolas Schmit, spoke about the situation in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia during the plenary session of the European Parliament held in Strasbourg on Wednesday, 11 May 2005.
The Kyrgyzstani presidential elections are to be held on 10 July 2005. In this regard, Minister Schmit stated: "The main message coming from the international community during this presidential campaign should emphasise the importance of holding free and impartial elections. The simple fact that elections are being held does not automatically guarantee a fully matured democratic process. A number of question marks remain over the political agenda, particularly with regard to constitutional reform (...) As an international entity, the European Union would like to encourage stability and security in Kyrgyzstan and the wider region, and is pleased to note that the new administration in the country has successfully maintained good relations with neighbouring countries." With this in mind, the Minister recalled that the European Commission recently announced its intention to set aside 25 million euro for Kyrgyzstan in 2005.
As for the situation in Central Asia, Nicolas Schmit stated that "the European Union believes that the relationships between countries in the region are of paramount importance, and the European Union is prepared to support the transition of these countries. A number of different factors create an atmosphere of uncertainty around the countries in the region. The biggest threats to regional stability in Central Asia are the lack of economic reforms and, in some cases, the widespread presence of corruption, organised crime and drug trafficking. Increased poverty and a lack of growth in Central Asian countries have increased socio-economic tension."