Thursday, June 14, 2012 -
Uzbekistan blocked Kazakh access to Tajikistan while Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) military exercises were underway, a Kazakh official said on Thursday.
Uzbek agents refused to allow Kazakh troops to enter its territory as they headed to Tajikistan to participate in the exercises, Kazakhstan’s military attaché Serik Zhumadilov said from the Tajik capital Dushanbe on Thursday.
The SCO exercises began last week and ended Thursday.
Forces from Tajikistan, Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan all participated in the exercises.
Uzbekistan, though a member of the SCO, refuses to participate in the military exercises of the regional security group.
The country also has a long-standing feud with Tajikistan over Tajikistan’s intention to continue construction on the massive Rogun dam, which Uzbekistan maintains will rob its farmers of water to cultivate their lucrative cotton crops.
Kazakh authorities are warning travelers to avoid the Kazakh-Uzbek border in the Mangistau region as congestion is heavy and to have an Uzbek travel visa on hand should they cross the border.