By Kamila Aliyeva
Uzbekistan and Tajikistan intend to jointly build two hydro power plants, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said after the talks with his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon, who is on an official visit to Tashkent, on August 17.
The head of Uzbekistan noted that hydro power plants with a capacity of more than 320 megawatts will be constructed on the Zarafshan river.
According to Mirziyoyev, the President of Tajikistan noted that there are ready projects that have been audited by international organizations.
The Uzbek leader pointed out that the intergovernmental commission between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan will consider this issue.
Emomali Rahmon noted that Uzbekistan and Tajikistan will use electric power produced at these stations to develop their economies.
Since the moment of independence, the relations between the two neighbors were not easy. The disputes between the two countries have arisen regularly for almost 25 years.
Dushanbe often accused Uzbekistan of blocking railroads and roads. In turn, Tashkent opposed the construction of the Rogun HPP in Tajikistan, which, according to the authorities of Uzbekistan, is a threat to the entire agricultural sector of the region. In 2001, first, Uzbekistan, and then Tajikistan, introduced a visa regime between the two states.
The relations began to restore in 2016 after Shavkat Mirziyoyev took the presidential office in December. Since then, the activation of bilateral contacts on various levels have begun, the air communication between Dushanbe and Tashkent has been resumed, ten checkpoints on the border have been reopened, several meetings of the commission for border delimitation and demarcation have been held. In addition, residents of the border areas of the two countries can visit each other for up to 5 days without obtaining visas and telegrams.
The legal base of bilateral Tajik-Uzbek relations includes about 111 contracts and agreements signed at the interstate, intergovernmental and interdepartmental levels in the period from 1992 to the present.
The trade turnover between the two states increased by 20 percent and totaled $240 million in 2017. Currently, the countries plan to increase the volume of bilateral trade up to $ 500 million by 2020.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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