The president of Kyrgyzstan, Almazbek Atambayev, has held talks with senior EU officials in Brussels.
Atambayev was in the Belgian capital to sign a deal with the European Union that he says will help strengthen the rule of law in his country.
European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso warned that “Kyrgyzstan still faces many challenges, in upholding the rule of law, respecting human rights and promoting inter-ethnic reconciliation. It is therefore important that the partners of Kyrgyzstan can support the country in consolidating its democracy,” he said.
Kyrgyzstan has been criticsed by groups such as Human Rights Watch for its failure to bring the perpetrators of inter-ethnic violence three years ago to justice.
The country’s president told euronews: “It took me 6 hours 40 minutes to fly to Brussels. On one hand our country is far from Europe. On the other in our global era everything is near. In the development of the parliamentary democracy only the European Union can help us.”
The EU has pledged 13.5 million euros to Kyrgyzstan under the so-called Agreement for the Promotion of the Rule of Law.