By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Tajikistan, taking into account the prospects for its economic development, geographical and geopolitical location, pays attention to the further development and deepening of a wide range of mutually beneficial cooperation with Uzbekistan.
A meeting of the Tajik-Uzbek Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation was held in Termez, the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan reports.
Prime Minister of Tajikistan Kohir Rasulzoda and Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov chaired the meeting.
During the meeting, the sides reviewed topical issues of bilateral cooperation, the tasks set by the top leadership of the two countries to strengthen and develop multifaceted cooperation, the information department of the Foreign Ministry of Tajikistan reports.
The parties confirmed their mutual interest in enhancing and expanding mutually beneficial cooperation in various sectors of the economy, in particular, trade and economic, investment, energy, transport and communications, cultural and humanitarian areas, agriculture and water management, tourism, etc.
The sides reached an agreement on the adoption of further concerted measures to ensure the growth of commodity turnover, work on the creation of joint ventures for the production of light industry goods and in the agro-industrial complex, as well as the continuation and deepening of joint work in the hydropower sector.
Following the meeting, the Protocol of the Intergovernmental Commission was signed.
The visit of the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon to Tashkent, where the second consultative meeting of the heads of Central Asian states will take place, is scheduled for April 12.
Diplomatic relations between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan were established on October 20, 1992.
The Tajik-Uzbek bilateral trade in January-February 2019 increased by 3 percent compared with the same period last year (by $987,000) and amounted to $29.87 million.
Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are counting on an increase in trade turnover to $ 500 million by 2020.
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.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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