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Uzbekistan – Tajikistan: The traditionally good-neighborly ties between our countries and fraternal peoples are acquiring a new character today

A powerful impetus to this has been afforded by the political will and joint practical efforts of the two heads of state. During the last period, Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Emomali Rahmon met four times on the platforms of international and regional organizations. Telephone conversations were held on several occasions, during which the phased achievement of specific tasks to strengthen close cooperation for the benefit of the peoples of our countries was discussed, in the name of ensuring peace and stability in the region.

It is worth noting that there are positive results. Thus, in 2017, the trade turnover between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan exceeded 230 million US dollars with a growth of more than 20%. To achieve this indicator, contacts between business circles of our two nations established during exhibitions and fairs of products of industrial enterprises and business forums in Dushanbe and Tashkent were instrumental. Events as such are held these days in the capital of Tajikistan.

Worth recalling that the trade between the two republics is carried out on free trade mode, without any withdrawals. Also important in this area is the Joint Uzbek-Tajik Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation, established in 2002, the latest meeting of which was held this January in Dushanbe.

Expounding on the prospects for cooperation on this front, it can be noted that the trade houses of Uzbek and Tajik major companies in the territories of the two republics opened last year will contribute to the development of ties, as will the creation of a bilateral business council. The members of this body are entrepreneurs, representatives of ministries, other agencies, government bodies and chambers of commerce and industry, and the first meeting of the council will be held as part of the forthcoming state visit of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Tajikistan.

A significant breakthrough in bilateral relations is also made in border issues. On 1 March, a total of nine checkpoints across the Uzbek-Tajik state border were opened with a festive ceremony.

Residents of the two countries, who were eagerly awaiting this event, can now easily make mutual trips through the Jartepa-Sarazm, Kushkent-Ura-Tube, Uchkurgan-Khavatag, Khavastabad-Zafarabad, Bekabad-Khashtyak, Pap-Navbunyod, Ravat-Ravot, Gulbahor-Ayvadj checkpoints and the Amuzang-Khoshadi railway one. Yesterday, March 7, the first passenger train on the route Kulyab-Moscow proceeded through the latter point.

This, of course, contributes to the further expansion of bilateral relations in all spheres, including cross-border cooperation. By the way, the first steps in this direction were made as early as August 29, 2017, when the delegation of Tursunzade district of Tajikistan took part in ceremonial events in Termez, timed to the Independence Day of Uzbekistan. And on September 9, representatives of the Surkhandarya region shared the joy of the residents of the neighboring country during the celebrations dedicated to the Independence Day in the city of Nau, Tursunzade district.

It is worth noting that 2017 was a breakthrough in the development of cultural and humanitarian areas. For the first time in 20 years, the Days of Culture of Uzbekistan in Tajikistan, as well as the Days of Culture of a neighboring country on our land, have been organized. The events signaled a triumph of friendship between the two peoples.

Concerts of popular pop singers of Uzbekistan in various cities of Tajikistan were repeatedly held, and tours of the Puppet Theater of Uzbekistan and performances of the Tashkent Circus troupe in Dushanbe were organized.

In a word, all of the above indicates that the development of bilateral cooperation will only increase, and new tasks and goals on the path of strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation will be determined during the upcoming state visit of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Tajikistan.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)