Meeting with Special Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China

On August 8, 2021 the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan Farhod Salim received the Special Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China on Afghanistan Yue Xiaoyun.

The issues of cooperation between the two countries in the field of security, fight against terrorism, extremism and separatism, as well as the situation of regional security have been considered at the meeting.

Source: Ministry of foreign affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan

Regular meeting of topographic working groups of government delegations of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic

According to the agreement, a regular meeting of the topographic working groups of government delegations of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic on delimitation and demarcation of the state border of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan was held from 4 to 9 August 2021 in Dushanbe.

Following the meeting, the relevant Protocol was signed.

The parties agreed to hold the next meeting in the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The meeting was held in an atmosphere of friendship and mutual understanding.

Source: Ministry of foreign affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan

Majlis Podcast: Who Are The Central Asian Fighters In North Afghanistan?

Citizens of Central Asia who have joined militant groups in Afghanistan have worried governments in the region for years.

RFE/RL's Tajik Service, known locally as Ozodi, has reported that -- in some of the areas along Tajikistan's border with Afghanistan that were recently captured by the Taliban -- a militant group from Tajikistan, Jamaat Ansarullo, is now in charge.

There are also citizens of Uzbekistan, and even reportedly some from Turkmenistan, who are in the ranks of militant groups active in northern Afghanistan, some who are allied with the Taliban, some who are not.

On this week's Majlis podcast, RFE/RL media-relations manager Muhammad Tahir moderates a discussion on Central Asian citizens operating in northern Afghanistan, who they are, and from whom they take orders.

This week's guests are: from the United Kingdom, Antonio Giustozzi, a visiting professor at King's College in London who researches conflict and security; from Washington, Melanie Sadozai, a visiting scholar at George Washington University who was recently along the Tajik-Afghan border when the Taliban seized control in that area; from Prague, Salimjon Aioub, the director of Ozodi; and Bruce Pannier, the author of RFE/RL's Qishloq Ovozi blog.

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.

Indian, Chinese Troops Disengage from Himalayan Border Area

NEW DELHI - Indian and Chinese troops have pulled back from a disputed border area in the Himalayas where soldiers from both sides had been facing off for over a year, according to the Indian army.

Although the announcement marks progress in the resolving border disputes that have worsened ties between the two Asian countries, other points of friction persist.

The withdrawal from the Gogra area in eastern Ladakh marked the second round of disengagement this year. It came six months after India and China pulled back troops from a strategic Himalayan Lake, Pangong Tso, that had emerged as their most serious flashpoint in decades and led to a massive military buildup in the region.

An Indian army statement Friday said that both sides had dismantled “temporary structures erected by them along with allied infrastructure, with the actions being mutually verified.” It said that troops were back in their “respective permanent bases and that “the landform in the area has been restored by both sides to the pre-standoff period.”

The agreement was reached at talks between military commanders of the two sides held last Saturday.

The Indian army statement said that “With this one more sensitive area of face-off has been resolved” and that both sides have expressed their commitment “to take the talks forward and resolve the remaining issues along the LAC.”

The LAC refers to the line of actual control that marks the unsettled border in the Himalayas between the two countries.

“It is a step in the right direction because these are points of potential conflict that are sought to be cooled down,” according to Jayadeva Ranade, head of the Center for China Analysis and Strategy in New Delhi. “But it is very limited progress. They have to start addressing the bigger issues in other areas that would lead to thinning out of forces massed along the Himalayan border.”

The standoff in Ladakh between India and China began in April last year and led to deadly hand-to-hand combat that killed 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers.

The pullback in the Gogra area took place three weeks after the Indian and Chinese foreign ministers met in mid-July in Tajikistan on the sidelines of a regional meeting.

Indian foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar had said that any unilateral change in the status quo along their disputed border was "not acceptable" to India and that overall ties can only develop after “full restoration of peace and tranquility” in eastern Ladakh.

In a statement issued by the Chinese foreign ministry, the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi had said that “China-India relations still stay at a low level, which is not in the interest of either side” and called on the two sides to find a solution to the border issue through dialogue and consultation.

The most serious dispute between the two countries centers on an area known as Depsang Plain, according to Bharat Karnad, a strategic affairs expert at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi. “That is really the crux because it allows Indian troops access to a key Himalayan pass. It is critical to restore status quo here but it will be a challenge to do that in this strategic point.”

China denies that its troops have crossed the border between the two countries.

Source: Voice of America

Beneficial meeting with activists of Shahrinav district

On August 2 and 4, 2021, in accordance with the instructions of the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan on the prevention of Kovid-19 disease and vaccination, a meeting of the Chief of DMIA in Shahrinav district Major Sulaymonzoda NR was held. officials, especially employees of local executive bodies of the district, chairmen of towns and villages, religion, traditions and celebrations, women and family, health workers, mahalla chairmen and other activists of the district.
In connection with the current situation and the measures taken by the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan in this direction, talks, meetings, explanatory work among the population, which should be carried out through the stages of vaccination, were given useful recommendations to officials.
Then the public was instructed to properly explain the consequences of not being vaccinated, mandatory hygiene, social distance, use of masks, as well as personal hygiene, which is the only way to get rid of this disease and prevention. Also, on August 4, 2021, the head of the DMIA in Shahrinav district, Major Sulaymonzoda N.R. He met with drivers of rented vehicles in Shahrinav district and, first of all, made recommendations for the prevention of this disease, vaccination and mandatory observance of sanitary conditions and social distance of passengers.

 

Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan

Representatives Assembly Speaker Attends the Inauguration Ceremony of the Newly Elected President of Iran

Yesterday, Representatives Assembly Speaker Mahmadtoir Zokirzoda along with high-ranking representatives of other countries took part in the inauguration ceremony of the newly elected President of Iran Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi.

The ceremony was held in the presence of 265 guests from 115 countries.

Raisi gave the oath to abide by the Constitution and the regime of Iran and strive to solve the problems of the people.

The ceremony was also attended by President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, Prime Minister of Algeria Eimen bin Abdurrahman, Chairman of the Russian State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin, heads of parliaments of Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Nigeria, ministers of foreign affairs of Oman, Kuwait and other countries.

 

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan

President Emomali Rahmon Attends Consultative Meeting of the Heads of Central Asian Nations

The Founder of Peace and National Unity, Leader of the Nation, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon attended the Consultative Meeting of the Heads of Central Asian Nations that took place on August 6 in Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan.

The meeting was attended by President Emomali Rahmon, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev , President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, and President of the host country Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

Participants discussed the current state and prospects for further deepening cooperation within Central Asian nations in political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres, as well as regional security.

«We are ready for a close cooperation with Central Asian nations in trade, industrial production, digital economy, innovation, modern technology as well as tourism, transportation, energy and ensuring food security,» noted President Rahmon.

The participants stressed that in the current context, serious attention must be paid to the development of new and effective measures to promote cooperation in priority areas.

Proposing a number of beneficial measures, President Rahmon stressed the need to intensify the development of the healthcare sector, industry, energy, transportation, and communication spheres, and to strengthen cultural and humanitarian ties.

He also noted that in the current context, cooperation of Central Asian countries in the fight against terrorism, extremism, radicalism, illicit drug trafficking, cybercrime, and transnational organized crime requires urgent action.

Cooperation for the promotion of rational and efficient use of water resources was also noted as vital especially for Central Asian countries.

President Rahmon also drew the attention of the heads of Central Asian nations to climate change, melting glaciers, disaster risk reduction, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tajikistan has been chairing the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea for three years, starting in 2020.

Following the meeting relevant documents were adopted.

 

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan

President Emomali Rahmon Awarded the Mark of Honour of the Heads of Central Asian States

President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov of Turkmenistan awarded President Emomali Rahmon with the Mark of Honour of the Heads of States of the Central Asia. The mark was awarded in Turkmenbashi.

According to the document, the Mark of Honour was awarded for Emomali Rahmon’s outstanding merits in the development of friendship, good-neighborliness, mutual understanding, and cooperation between the states of Central Asia, maintaining peace and security in the region, promoting common interests and initiatives of the countries of the region in the international arena.

President of Tajikistan is the first leader to be awarded this high Mark.

 

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan

Taliban Shuts Key Afghan Border Crossing with Pakistan Until Demands Are Met

ISLAMABAD – Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents closed a major crossing point Friday for travel and trade with Pakistan, demanding the neighboring country end the alleged mistreatment of Afghan travelers and ease other restrictions.

The abrupt closure of the busy Spin Boldak crossing into the southwestern Pakistani town of Chaman has stranded hundreds of travelers and trucks carrying commercial goods in both directions, according to traders and witnesses.

The Taliban’s swift battlefield advances against Afghan government forces since early May have enabled them to seize control of dozens of districts across the conflict-hit country, including most of landlocked Afghanistan’s trade crossings with neighboring countries.

They include Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Pakistan. The loss of these trade routes is estimated to have cost the Afghan government tens of millions of dollars in revenues.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid defended the move, alleging Afghan travelers are being mistreated by the Pakistani side.

“They [Pakistan] open the border gate only for two, three hours during the entire day for people traveling from Afghanistan, including patients, [Afghan] refugees, traders and others,” Mujahid told VOA.

He demanded that Pakistan open the border route for the entire day, as had been the case in the past, arguing it was not possible for such a large number of people to cross over in such a short period of time.

“Men and women are extensively frisked and traders are also harassed,” Mujahid said.

Since the Taliban captured the Spin Boldak crossing, he added, Pakistani authorities also have banned entry of Afghans who possess refugee status and national identification cards. “Until Pakistani authorities address these issues and remove the restrictions, the border gate will remain closed,” Mujahid said.

Pakistani officials have not commented on the closure of the border by the Taliban.

“Around 700 trucks and 2,000 people are stuck on both sides of the border,” Imran Khan Kakar, a senior member of the Pak-Afghan Chamber of Commerce in Chaman, told VOA.

Khan said Pakistani border officials told the traders they were in contact with the Taliban and the two sides were scheduled to meet later in the day to discuss the issue.

Pakistan had sealed the Chaman-Spin Boldak crossing after the Afghan insurgent group seized control of it in the second week of July, halting all trade and traffic through the usually bustling crossroads in the region.

Last week, Islamabad partially reopened the facility to allow travelers and truck convoys stranded on both sides of the border to resume their journey.

Pakistani officials argued the partial reopening of the crossing was a humanitarian gesture, noting Islamabad recognizes the Afghan government in Kabul as the legitimate entity and not the Taliban insurgency.

The Taliban’s capture of Spin Boldak and surrounding districts of the embattled Afghan province of Kandahar have fueled Pakistan’s tensions with the Afghan government, which has long accused Islamabad of backing the insurgents.

There are five crossings on the nearly 2,640-kilometer border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Three of them are used for travel and bilateral and transit trade activities, while the rest are dedicated to travelers, including Afghan refugees.

Pakistan, which denies accusations of links with the Taliban, still hosts about 3 million Afghans as registered refugees and economic migrants.

 

Source: Voice of America