Kyrgyz-Uzbek Talks On Border Open In Tashkent

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BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have started talks on border delimitation, a major bone of contention in bilateral ties since 1991, when they gained independence from the Soviet Union.

The talks in the Uzbek capital on March 24 are being held by a Kyrgyz delegation led by the chief of the State Committee for National Security, Kamchybek Tashiev, and a group of Uzbek officials led by Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov, the Kyrgyz government website said.

While many border areas in Central Asia's former Soviet republics have been disputed, the situation is particularly complicated near the numerous exclaves in the volatile Ferghana Valley, where the borders of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan meet.

In recent years there have been numerous incidents along the border which in some cases involved deadly gunfire.

The situation began to improve following the 2016 death of Uzbekistan's longtime authoritarian president, Islam Karimov.

His successor, Shavkat Mirziyoev, has said that improving ties with Uzbekistan's neighbors is a major priority of his foreign policy.

Border sections still have an undefined status around the Uzbek exclaves of Sokh and Shahimardan in Kyrgyzstan, as well as around the Kyrgyz exclave of Barak in Uzbekistan.

Source: Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.