Chairman of Tajikistan’s upper house (Majlisi Milli) of parliament (Majlisi Oli), Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloyev, yesterday met here with new EU Ambassador to Tajikistan, Marilyn Josefson.  

In the course of the talks, Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloyev drew attention of Ambassador Josefson to the fact of deterioration of situation in Afghanistan and noted that Tajikistan, which is OSCE participating State, is on the frontline of combating terrorism, extremism and trafficking in drugs and weapons, Navrouz Qurbonzoda, an aide to Majlisi Milli speaker, told Asia-Plus in an interview.  

“Tajikistan needs technical assistance to reinforce its common border with Afghanistan,” Ubaidulloyev said, expressing confidence that the European Union will continue helping Tajikistan in that matter in the future as well.  

Tajik parliament speaker also asked EU Ambassador to think over the possibility of training of Tajik students in European prestigious universities alongside expansion of trade and economic cooperation between the European Union and Tajikistan.

Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloyev expressed hope that EU Ambassador to Tajikistan will assist in reaching agreement on allocating student quota to nationals of Tajikistan. 

Ambassador Josefson, for her part, noted that she will use all her knowledge and experience to promote further expansion of cooperation between the European Union and Tajikistan. 

The European Union, composed of 28 Member States, is the world’s largest aid donor. Tajikistan receives the main share of EU's bilateral assistance to Central Asia: €251 million for 2014-2020. During this period, the development cooperation between the EU and Tajikistan covers three key sectors: education - focusing on secondary general education and TVET, health – focusing on Primary Healthcare and Health Financing, and rural development - including support to agrarian reform, rural entrepreneurship, irrigation and water sector reform, as well as promoting natural resources management. The EU also supports reforms of the country's governance systems, trade policies and Public Finance Management.

Tajikistan also receives regional and thematic assistance in areas like border management, drug control, education, democracy and human rights, non-State actors, energy, transport, SME development, peace and stability, and water/environment/nuclear safety. The EU has been active in Tajikistan since 1992 and provides approximately EUR 35 million annually in development assistance in grants.