The European Union (EU), as one of the co-organizers, is participating at the High-level International Conference on "Countering Terrorism and Preventing Violent Extremism" with a high-level delegation, according to the EU Delegation to Tajikistan.

The EU delegation is reportedly led by Ambassador Jean-Christophe Belliard, Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs, European External Action Service, Mr. Gilles de Kerchove, EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, and Ambassador Peter Burian, EU Special Representative for Central Asia, according to the EU Delegation to Tajikistan.

Central Asia and the wider region currently face significant security challenges that need to be addressed comprehensively, in the interest of the region and the rest of the world.  Central Asia and Tajikistan as partners bordering unsettled Afghanistan also carry an important responsibility for containing these challenges, to contribute to cross-border cooperation and inclusive regional approach to economic and social development.

The EU intends to provide further assistance to regional cooperation in the region, including Afghanistan. This has also been discussed at the recent Tashkent Conference on Afghanistan.  The EU is keen to contribute to a comprehensive approach in preventing and countering violent extremism (PCVE).

The EU has therefore invited the Hedayah Center, one of the partners implementing EU assistance on PCVE to share its experience.

As noted by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini: "We are increasing as a priority our work and cooperation on counterterrorism with partner countries.  We have developed a network of counterterrorism experts that are deployed in key countries and a series of counterterrorism dialogues with our partners to exchange best practices and to learn from each other.  The best way to address radicalization and violent extremism effectively is by working together, in a comprehensive and concerted way."

The Council of the European Union adopted conclusions on EU external action on counter-terrorism last year, reiterating its strong and unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever and for whatever purpose.

The EU delegation will take part in the work of the Conference, side-events, and eventual field mission to the Tajik-Uzbek border.