Uzbek and Tajik presidents to meet in Dushanbe

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev will visit Dushanbe today to meet with Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon. During the two-day diplomatic visit,

Tajikistan Presidential Administration

Photo: Tajikistan Presidential Administration

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev will visit Dushanbe today to meet with Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon.

During the two-day diplomatic visit, leaders will discuss the current state of the shaky Tajik-Uzbek relations and possible ways to improve bilateral ties. Establishing stronger regional cooperation amongst the Central Asian nations has been a major foreign policy initiative for Tashkent under Mirziyoyev. In today’s meeting, Mirziyoyev will be vocal about Tashkent’s willingness to assuage historical tensions with Dushanbe over border demarcations and water recourses.

Expect Tashkent and Dushanbe’s trade turnover to increase by up to a up to a billion dollars in the short-term, with the energy sector serving as a major driver. During his time in office, Mirziyoyev will further abandon former Uzbek president Islam Karimov’s protectionist policies, which hamstrung trade with the country’s neighbors. Uzbekistan will offer to provide further assistance on the construction of Tajikistan’s planned hydropower dams. In exchange, Uzbekistan desires to secure its fair share on Tajikistan’s key irrigation reservoirs as Tashkent’s exclusion from resources would severely affect its cotton industry in the medium-term. Dushanbe, for its part, will signal an inclination to boost ties as it desires to increase natural gas imports from Uzbekistan at an affordable price.

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