By Abdul Kerimkhanov
With the arrival of Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the presidency of Uzbekistan, the vector of military cooperation with the Republic of Tajikistan has changed for the better.
The Lower House of the Parliament of Tajikistan unanimously ratified the agreement between Tashkent and Dushanbe signed last August on military-technical cooperation on March 6.
Speaking on this issue, the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Tajikistan, First Deputy Minister of Defense, Lieutenant-General Emomali Sobirzoda, said that within the framework of the implementation of this agreement, the two neighboring countries could launch joint production of arms and military equipment.
In addition, the agreement provides for the joint repair, reconstruction of military equipment, the exchange of military delegations and information.
Regarding the issue of demining at the border of two states, Sobirzoda noted that demining is carried out exclusively by the forces and means of Uzbekistan.
“They refused our help in this case since demining is carried out exclusively on the territory of a neighboring state”, the lieutenant-general said.
Sobirzoda noted that today, there are no problems in the cooperation of the defense departments of the two states.
“We are in constant contact with our Uzbek colleagues, in the near future we will hold regular joint exercises of the armed forces of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan”, the lieutenant-General stated.
The first anti-terrorist exercises of soldiers and officers of the defense departments of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan were held at the Sogdian military training ground "Chorukhdairon" in September 2018.
Diplomatic relations between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan were established on October 20, 1992.
Having come to power in December 2016, the current head of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev firmly stated that he intends to improve relations with neighbors. In November 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan announced "deep changes in the Tajik-Uzbek relations".
Since the beginning of 2018, more than 10 checkpoints have opened on the border of the two countries. Uzbekistan has restored the Galab-Amuzang railway line.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev visited Dushanbe with an official visit on March 9-10, 2018. In two days, the President of Tajikistan and the head of Uzbekistan signed over 27 documents. In particular, the parties determined the deadlines for demining the Tajik-Uzbek border, abolished visas and agreed to fully restore air traffic.
It is planned to open air communication between Dushanbe and the Uzbek cities of Bukhara and Samarkand in 2019, where a large number of ethnic Tajiks live.
Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are counting on an increase in trade turnover to $ 500 million by 2020.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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