Tajik, Uzbek foreign ministers discuss cooperation

24/05/2016 14:05
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, May 24, 2016, Asia-Plus – Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Aslov today morning met with his Uzbek counterpart Abdulaziz Komilov in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, on the sidelines of a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers, according to the Tajik MFA information department.

The two reportedly discussed state and prospects of further expansion of bilateral cooperation between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Aslov and Komilov also exchanged views on cooperation between the two countries within the frameworks of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.       

Tajikistan’s Ambassador to Uzbekistan Sodiq Imomi also attended the meeting.  

Relations between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are currently strained because of the former’s plans to build the Roghun hydroelectric power plant (HPP).  Tajik authorities believe that the Roghun dam is solution to many problems Tajikistan faces today, including frequent electricity shortages during winters.

The Roghun HPP could generate both enough electricity to provide for Tajikistan’s population and enough excess to export to Pakistan, Afghanistan, or China.

Uzbekistan is downstream country and its authorities consider that Tajikistan will use the dam as a means of leverage to pressure Uzbekistan in the many political disputes between the two countries.

However, Tajik-Uzbek relations have begun to thaw after a long chill.  Uzbek enterprises are reportedly seeking partners for cooperation in Tajikistan and a two-way trade between the two countries is increasing.  

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