Tajikistan appeals to CSTO member nations for help with security challenges emerging from Afghanistan

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In an appeal on July 7, Dushanbe reportedly said it could not manage the instability at its border without external assistance.

"Given the current situation in the region, as well as the remoteness and mountainous terrain of some parts of the border with Afghanistan, dealing with this challenge on our own seems difficult," Russia's RIA Novosti news agency quoted Hasan Sultonov, the Tajik representative at the CSTO, as saying.

"Therefore, we would like to call on the member states of the organization to contribute to the full implementation" of a 2013 resolution to provide assistance to Tajikistan in strengthening the Tajik-Afghan border, Sultonov said, according to Armenia's Armen Press.

The CSTO member nations include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Russia,

Dushanbe's call came hours after Moscow vowed to defend its Central Asian allies threatened by the intensifying violence in Afghanistan.

Recall, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko said on July 6 that Moscow stood ready to provide Tajikistan with any assistance it needed.

Russia is ready to use opportunities of its military base deployed in Tajikistan to protect its allies in connection with the situation in Afghanistan.

RIA Novosti says Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted at a press conference in Laos yesterday that Moscow is ready to use it military base in Tajikistan, its largest military base abroad, to ensure the security of its allies.

“We will do everything we can, including using the capabilities of the Russian military base on Tajikistan's border with Afghanistan, to prevent any aggressive impulses toward our allies," Russian top diplomat said.

The minister reportedly added, “Obligations under the CSTO remain in full force.”

According to him, representatives of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Secretariat have visited the Tajik-Afghan border and they will report the situation to the Permanent Council.

CSTO Joint Staff chief, Colonel-General Anatoly Sidorov, heading the Organization task force reportedly arrived in Tajikistan on July 6 to monitor the situation along Tajikistan’s common border with Afghanistan. While in Tajikistan, the CSTO task force members are scheduled to visit southern regions of Tajikistan and hold talks with senior representatives of the Ministry of Defense and the Main Border Guard Directorate of the State Committee for National Security and other relevant agencies of Tajikistan.

Sidorov reportedly noted that the main purpose of the visit to Tajikistan was for the CSTO task force to monitor the situation along the Tajik-Afghan border and prepare proposals on joint measures in the framework of the CSTO.

The Taliban has captured large swaths of territory in northern Afghanistan as foreign troops exit the country, with more than 1,500 Afghan civilians and servicemen fleeing to neighboring Tajikistan over the past seventeen days.

Tajik authorities say that two-thirds of the 1,357-kilometer border with Afghanistan is under Taliban control.

Source: Asia-Plus