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TASHKENT (TCA) — A delegation of Uzbekistan led by Deputy Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade Badriddin Abidov visited Brussels where he discussed prospects for cooperation with the European Union in the framework of the Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral Sea region in Uzbekistan (MPHSTF), the Delegation of the European Union to Uzbekistan reported.

During the visit on March 24-26, meetings were held with a number of high-ranking representatives of the European Union: Deputy Managing Director of the European External Action Service Luc Devigne, EU Special Representative for Central Asia Peter Burian, Managing Counselor of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Umberto Del Panta and Director for Asia, Central Asia, Middle East/Gulf and the Pacific at the European Commission's Department for International Cooperation and Development, Pierre Amilhat.

The members of the Uzbek delegation provided detailed information about the goals and objectives of the Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund, mechanisms for approving and implementing projects, ensuring transparency and interaction with donors.

During the meetings, representatives of the EU and Belgium reported that they support the initiative of Uzbekistan and the United Nations to establish MPHSTF and are committed to setting up long-term cooperation in reducing the negative effects of the drying up of the Aral Sea.

An agreement was reached following the meetings and negotiations that in early April the EU delegation led by the Special Representative Peter Burian would visit the Aral Sea region to study the needs of Uzbekistan and prepare recommendations for EU institutions and member countries on cooperation opportunities with the Uzbek side within the framework of the Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral Sea Region.

The European side also intends to propose the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation between the EIB and the Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral Sea Region, which is scheduled to be signed during the May visit to Uzbekistan of the Vice-President of the Bank Vazil Hudák.

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