The Central Asian countries and Central Europe intend to expand cooperation. Prospects for cooperation were discussed at the first meeting of foreign ministers of the Visegrad Group and the five Central Asian states. Kazakhstan took part in the negotiations in Budapest.

PETER SZIJJARTO, HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER:

 - The bridge between the Visegrad countries and Central Asia should be built in the way so we will achieve mutually beneficial cooperation in politics, economy and security. Europe needs new allies. Today the European Union is rewriting its strategy. We welcome the arriving delegates. I believe that the Central Asian region can become the key in the future.

The list of key topics includes strengthening the economic partnership. Moreover, the prospects of the New Silk Road project are also significant. Great attention is paid to education, digital transformation and new technologies. According to the Kazakh Foreign Minister, the Visegrad Group and the Five Central Asian countries have great potential for dynamic cooperation.

KAIRAT ABDRAKHMANOV, KAZAKH FOREIGN MINISTER:

 - They are stressing the importance of expansion of our mutually beneficial cooperation. First of all, by deepening the economic one, and building up the bilateral trade and investments. Special attention was paid to cooperation in energy, water management, education.

The first ministerial meeting in the new format was successful, according to the representatives of the Visegrad Four and Central Asian countries. They are confident that such a dialogue will help to intensify cooperation not only between the countries, but also between the regions.

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