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EU's Ashton Vows To 'Engage' Central Asia On Human Rights

EU Foreign Policy Catherine Ashton (file photo)
BRUSSELS -- EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has pledged to raise human rights issues during a visit next week to Central Asia.

Ashton will meet the leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to discuss a whole range of issues.

Ashton told RFE/RL in an interview in Brussels on November 22 that the European Union believes that "very rarely is isolation the answer" when it comes to human rights violations.

READ the full Ashton interview with RFE/RL correspondent Rikard Jozwiak

Ashton said the EU was keen to discuss human rights issues with the Central Asian countries.

The EU foreign policy chief said "engagement is usually a much better way forward, but it is engagement on the basis of principles, and it's engagement in order to make things move forward."

"It takes time and it is not easy," she added.
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