Prince Rahim Aga Khan on January 9 met in Brussels with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, to discuss cooperation between the European Union and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in countries and regions of shared interest, says press release issued by AKDN.

The EU has been a longstanding partner of the AKDN across a wide range of fields, including the fight against climate change, development cooperation in multiple sectors, and humanitarian response.

His Highness the Aga Khan and the then President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2007.

Prince Rahim is the second of His Highness the Aga Khan's four children.  He travels regularly to Asia and Africa to oversee microfinance programs and other projects of the AKDN.

AKDN works for an economically dynamic, politically stable, intellectually vibrant and culturally tolerant Tajikistan.  Several AKDN agencies collaborate to bring the government, private sector and civil society together, establish institutions and carry out programs to help with needs as diverse as banking, e-learning and avalanche prevention.  It covers all regions of the country and employs more than 3,500 people in health care, education, business, finance and cultural activities.

The European Union (EU) and Tajikistan are working together at a political and economic level, guided by the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement as well as the European Union and Central Asia Strategy.  The EU Delegation to Tajikistan is engaging with civil society and working for improvement of human rights standards in Tajikistan.  In Tajikistan, the EU focuses particularly on promoting freedom of media, strengthening the role of civil society, promoting gender equality, supporting the penitentiary system reform.