1. Considering Central Asia as a region of strategic importance, the European Union has committed to establish a strong, durable and stable relationship with the five Central Asian countries. Eight years after the adoption of the Central Asia Strategy, the Council welcomes the substantial progress achieved in developing the EU's relations with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as well as with the Central Asian region as a whole. Highlighting the significant mutual interest in increased political and economic cooperation, the Council reaffirms the EU's commitment to a relationship based on the principles of responsibility and ownership, which is aimed at fostering the stable, secure and sustainable development of the region.
2. The main objectives and priority areas of the 2007 EU Strategy for Central Asia remain pertinent. In implementing the Strategy the EU will take into account the lessons learnt and the changes in the region as well as the altering geopolitical situation around it. The Council calls for strengthening trade and energy links between the EU and Central Asian countries and reinforcing cooperation on security and stability, including sustainable management of natural resources. It emphasises the fundamental importance of democratisation, respect for human rights and the rule of law, and socio-economic development, all of which are essential elements of the Strategy.