Wednesday, April 18, 2012 -
Heads of the border guard agencies of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan participated in talks to enhance cooperation in a bid to strengthen stability along their common frontier, Tajik media reported on Wednesday.
According to reports out of Moscow, Uzbekistan’s Committee for State Border Protection of National Security Service said the Tajik side was led by commander of the Border National Security Committee of Tajikistan Lieutenant-General Sherali Mirzo, the Dushanbe-based Pressa.tj news agency reported.
Press spokesman for the Border National Security Committee of Tajikistan Hushnud Rakhmatullayev said he had no information about the meeting or the issues that were discussed, according to Pressa.tj.
The Tajik government says Uzbekistan has sealed 14 of the 16 checkpoints along their border to people, vehicles, goods, and cargo, in breach of bilateral intergovernmental agreements. Movement through the remaining two checkpoints has been severely restricted, the Dushanbe government claims.
Tensions between the two countries have escalated in recent months. Earlier this month, Uzbekistan stopped delivering gas supplies to Tajikistan, prompting Dushanbe to accuse the Tashkent government of imposing a blockade on it.
Meantime Wednesday, European Parliament deputy Struan Stevenson, who is best known for his support of Tajikistan’s controversial Rogun hydropower plant project, expressed disappointment of ongoing tensions between the two countries.
“It seems to me that the policy of escalation of interstate relations is doomed to failure," Pressa.tj cited Stevenson as saying.
The Euro-deputy offered to mediate between both sides at what he termed neutral territory at the European Parliament in Brussels.