Astana - "The Islamic State represents a totalitarian regime and ideology. We need to tackle together the radicalization". Franco Frattini, former Foreign Affairs minister and president of Italy-Emirates association, spent almost 2 days in Kazakhstan attending Astana Club, a dialogue platform with almost 60 high level experts coming from 27 countries. He also participated in the public lecture in front of students of Kazakh Humanitarian Law University in Astana where he emphasized and ways of cooperation between the EU and Central Asia. Frattini spoke on the importance of the global fight against terrorism and in the Central Asian region.
Frattini noted that Europe's strength that it did not impose values of specific set of human rights, but supported dialogue and interaction with the partners. "Europe does not impose, but propose interaction and partnership, including with Central Asia. Europe is playing its soft power capacity in the region", he added. frattini noted that Kazakhstan was still a young democracy of just 25 years old and that a long way needed before full democratization. He noted that a renewed agreement for cooperation between the EU and Central Asia would most likely be adopted by year 2019.
Commenting on the impact of Western sanctions on Russia, Frattini noted that the under legal point of law, Russia broke the international agreements. However, he stressed that only the Italian agriculture lost almost 3 billion EURO per year due to the sanctions. "First of all, not very often policies based on sanction brought tangible and strong results. We have seen with Iran policies based on sanctions brought some results… With North Korea sanctions did not bring results, on contrary, the country now tests even more rackets…", Frattini said. Furthermore, he explained that the Europe and the World needed engagement with Russia to deal with the urgent global issue. "Russia is badly needed on board to tackle such issues as terrorism, North Korea, stabilization of Iraq, defeating Islamic State. Even the US agreed to cooperate with Russia on the fight against terrorism. One such example is Astana Talks organized with the participation of Russia on the Syria crisis resolution", Frattini said. He also added that Russia's engagement could help to fight against the growing threat of terrorism in Libya through coordination with the Egyptian General Al-Sissi. On the issue of increased Chinese investment in Central Asia with the One Belt One Road initiative and its possible competition with the influence of EU, Frattini replied that more engagement needed between China and EU. "We do not need less China, we need more Europe. Only by having Europe more strongly committed we will be able not to contain but to integrate China. We need to integrate European Project into the Silk Road project and then China will have less leverage to try to dominate", Frattini concluded.