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Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan agreed upon 90 percent of common border

Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have reportedly agreed upon of 90 percent of previously contested territory. 

In a report released at a news conference in Dushanbe, the head of the State Committee of Land Management and Geodesy of Tajikistan Orif Khojazoda, who is also chairman of the Tajik topographic working group, noted on February 8 that the parties have agreed on delimitation of 889.45 kilometers of their shared border to date.  

“Last  year, the topographic working groups held 15 meetings that resulted in delimitation of 169.48 kilometers of the disputed stretches of the border,” Khojazoda said.

He refrained from giving details of the delimited stretches of the border referring to the fact that the parties had previously agreed that “the contents of protocols and documents on the performance of work must remain confidential and they will be published only by agreement of both parties.” 

Orif Khojazoda

Recall, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan has announced that an agreement addressing the long-standing border dispute between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan is set to be signed in March this year.  The announcement followed discussions between Fidan and Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon in Dushanbe on January 10.  The Turkish top diplomat’s visit to Kyrgyzstan the day prior reportedly also featured discussions on the impending agreement.

On February 5, Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon received visiting Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Jeenbek Kulubayev.

The Tajik president’s official website said top Kyrgyz diplomat had advocated “political dialogue and the strengthening of an atmosphere of trust between the two countries on the basis of a centuries-old bond of friendship and on the principles of good neighborliness.”

Kyrgyzstan’s Foreign Ministry described bilateral relations with Tajikistan as a priority in Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy doctrine.

Kulubayev reportedly said that completion of border demarcation will finally allow the countries to intensify bilateral cooperation in all areas of mutual interest.

The long-standing border dispute between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan has poisoned relations between the two Central Asian nations since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, leading to frequent clashes along the common border in recent years.

It is to be noted that many border areas in Central Asia have been disputed since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  The situation is particularly complicated near the numerous exclaves in the Fergana Valley, where the borders of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan meet.

The border of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan has been the scene of unrest repeatedly since the collapse of the former Soviet Union.  Border talks between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan began in 2002.  The countries share 972 kilometers of border and unresolved border issues have led to tensions for the past 30 years.

Tensions between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan has remained high until recently, owing to a border dispute, as well as other issues involving irrigation, smuggling, and illegal border crossings.

This dispute has led to clashes between the two countries.  Kyrgyzstan unilaterally closed its common border with Tajikistan after further border clashes that occurred on September 14-17, 2022.  Both sides reportedly lost over 100 people both military population and ordinary citizens in that incident.  During fierce armed confrontations, a lot of schools, mosques were destroyed in addition to the houses of civilians; administrative buildings were also attacked by fire.

When the border closed, official trade turnover plummeted to nothing. Smugglers continued to ply their wares across the border, however. 

Source: Asia Plus