Central Asian states reach mutual understanding on border issues


The opening ceremony for 10 checkpoints on the Uzbek-Tajik border was held with officials from both countries on March 1.

The new transit points include one for trains, eight for automobiles and people on foot and another just for foot passengers. Opening the checkpoints simplifies trips for Uzbek and Tajik citizens and creates favorable conditions for further development of Uzbek-Tajik relations.

Uzbek President Shavkhat Mirziyoyev will pay a visit to Tajikistan March 9-10. The visit will be the first to Tajikistan by an Uzbek president since former Uzbek President Islam Karimov was there in June 2000.

Ahead of the Uzbek president's visit, regular meetings by the Uzbek-Tajik intergovernmental commission co-chaired by Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov and Tajik Prime Minister Kohir Rasulzada were held in Ferghana on Feb. 24.

Tashkent and Dushanbe have reached agreement to abolish the visa regime between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan after Mirziyoyev's visit to Tajikistan.

Last month, Kyrgyz President Sooronbaj Jeenbekov met Tajik President Emomoli Rahmon and stressed that the people of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are waiting for a resolution of the border issue.

After calling the Kyrgyz president, Tajik Prime Minister Rasulzada said both presidents would have a positive impact on the development of bilateral ties.

"Cooperation with Kyrgyzstan is a priority of our foreign policy. We are mutually interested in deepening bilateral relations. You correctly noted that we need to increase trade and economic cooperation. We prioritize cooperation in the trade and agrarian sector. We cherish the neighborhood and centuries-old traditions of friendship," Rasulzoda said.

Following negotiations between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, the Tajik side opened the bridge in the Leylek district of Batken region in southern Kyrgyzstan.

Last year, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan agreed to the border for 1,170 kilometers (more than 80 percent of their shared border). They also agreed to quickly resolve the remaining 200 kilometers of the disputed border. "We will turn our border into a border of friendship," Mirziyoyev said over the historical border agreement between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Since former Uzbek President Islam Karimov died, Uzbek President Mirziyoyev has sought warm ties with neighboring countries as the main priority of Uzbekistan's foreign policy.

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