On Thursday May 30, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon met with European Council President Donald Tusk, who visited Tajikistan as part of his Central Asian tour, according to the Tajik president’s official website.  

In the course of the talks, Rahmon and Tusk reportedly discussed political, economic and humanitarian cooperation between Tajikistan and the European Union.

They, in particular, discussed the issue of Tajikistan’s joining the GSP+ program.  

Tajik leader noted that Tajikistan attaches significant importance to cooperation with the European Union and considers the European Union one of important partners in the international arena. 

Rahmon underlined that Tajikistan is interested in expanding the mutually beneficial cooperation with Europe and attracting direct investments in the country’s economy.  

The two sides also touched upon the issues related to cooperation in providing security, jointly combating terrorism and extremism and trafficking in drugs and weapons.  

After the meeting with President Emomali Rahmon, Donald Tusk left Dushanbe for the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) where he got acquainted with glacier situation in the region.  GBAO Governor Yodgor Fayzov accompanied Tusk on his trip around Gorno Badakhshan, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service says.  

During his Central Asian tour, Tusk will also hold talks with President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev and First President Nursultan Nazarbaev in Kazakhstan, and with President Shavkat Mirziyoev in Uzbekistan.

According to the European Council, Tusk's trip is “a further expression of the EU's commitment to stronger partnerships with the region and the individual countries.  During his talks, Tusk will focus on regional and bilateral cooperation, climate change, protection of the environment, and border management as well as regional security.

Tusk's trip to Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan comes two weeks after the European Union launched its new strategy for Central Asia.

Composed of 28 Member Nations, the European Union 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.