Foreign relations of Tajikistan
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Foreign relations of Tajikistan are based on a desire to secure foreign investment and promote regional security while ensuring Tajikistan's independence. Sirodjidin Mukhridinovich Aslov is the Foreign Minister of Tajikistan.
Relations with neighboring Afghanistan began in 1992 and are generally satisfactory. The areas which form the two countries were once connected, especially during the Samanid, Ghaznavid, and Timurid periods. After a friendship treaty in 1750 between Ahmad Shah Durrani of Afghanistan and Mohammad Murad Beg of Bukhara, the Amu Darya (Oxus River) became the official border of Afghanistan. Persian language is widely used in both countries, and there are slightly more Tajiks in Afghanistan than Tajikistan.
In January 2007, with funding from the United States, Afghanistan and Tajikistan opened a bridge over the Pyanj River linking the two countries. Although the goal is to improve trade, the president of Tajikistan expressed concern that it could also increase drug traffic. In March 2008, Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan issued a joint communique for expanding economic and cultural relations, including improving security. In January 2009, the Afghan government agreed that Tajikistan owned 3,000 hectares of disputed land along the Pyanj River. The issue arose when the river shifted course, leaving several Tajik cotton fields on the Afghan side of the river.
Although both member of CIS, the economic relations between Azerbaijan and Tajikistan stays at a marginal level. However, in July 2012, Tajik Aluminium Company (TALCO) and Azerbaijani company Azeraluminium signed a cooperation agreement during the official visit of President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon to the Republic of Azerbaijan for the construction of oil refinery in the south of Tajikistan.
At the time of independence, portions of the Tajik boundary with the People's Republic of China were not defined. This boundary dispute was settled in agreements signed in 2002 that would cede 1,000 km² of Pamir mountain range to China in return for China relinquishing claims to 28,000 km² of Tajik lands.
Foreign Minister Zarifi met with Miguel Angel Moratinos, the Foreign Minister of Spain and the Chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on April 14, 2007. Moratinos praised Tajikistan's role in improving regional security and borders. He expressed his and the OSCE's support for changing a draft law on non-governmental organizations.
Diplomatic relations between India and Tajikistan were established soon after Tajikistan gained independence following the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union. Tajikistan occupies a strategically important position in Central Asia, bordering Afghanistan and the People's Republic of China and separated by a small strip of Afghan territory from Pakistan. India's role in fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda and its strategic rivalry with both China and Pakistan have made its ties with Tajikistan important to its strategic and security policies. India's military presence and activities have been significant, beginning with India's extensive support to the anti-Taliban Afghan Northern Alliance (ANA).
In 2002, India undertook a US$10 million project to upgrade an old Soviet military base in Ayni, Tajikistan which would support the Northern Alliance forces. The base also had a hospital to treat injured anti-Taliban forces. India provided extensive counter-insurgency military training to Tajikistan and also supplied them with new aircraft. In 2003, the two countries also held a military exercise, the first such war-game by Indian troops in Central Asia. Following the downfall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the two countries signed a military agreement to increase military cooperation. Under this agreement, India has deployed 17 Mil Mi-17 helicopters and 150 Indian Army personnel at the Farkhor Air Base with a plan to deploy at least 12 IAF MiG-29s.
Despite their common efforts, bilateral trade has been comparatively low, valued at US$12.09 million in 2005; India's exports to Tajikistan were valued at US$6.2 million and its imports at US$5.89 million. A Tajik proposal to transmit electric power to India is currently under review. India gave US$2 million worth emergency aid to Tajikistan during the 2008 Central Asia energy crisis.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Tajikistan has enjoyed a close relationship with Iran, helped along via a shared Persian identity. Iran was the first nation to establish an embassy in Dushanbe. It was also one of the first countries to extend diplomatic recognition of the newly independent Tajikistan in 1991. Iran provided diplomatic assistance and built new mosques within Tajikistan. Due to the resurgence of Iranian culture within Tajikistan, Iran helped encourage cultural exchange through conferences, media, and film festivals. Iranian television programs, magazines, and books became increasingly common in Tajikistan.
However, despite the many things the nations have in common, there are also vast differences. Tajikistan's post communist government is secular while Iran's is Islamic. Furthermore, Iran is a predominantly Shia nation while Tajikistan is Sunni. The leading figures of the Islamic revival movement in Tajikistan have stated that Iran would not be a model for whatever Islamic government they advocate for Tajikistan.
As of 2011 Iran is the second largest investor in Tajikistan after China.
Diplomatic relations between Japan and Tajikistan were established on 2 February 1992. Japan opened an embassy at Dushanbe in January 2002, and Tajikistan opened an embassy in Tokyo in November 2007.
The Tajik embassy in Putrajaya is currently under construction. Both countries have been enjoying warm diplomatic relations since the relations were established on 11 March 1992, and are willing to make constructive efforts towards progress.
Relations between the two states were established when the republic of Tajikistan became independent following the collapse of the USSR. Trade and cooperation has steadily grown between the two nations, with several summits being held on how to improve trade between the two nations. Although relations between the two countries had been strained by the situation in Afghanistan which shares a border with both countries.
There are hundreds of thousands Tajiks living in Pakistan, although nearly all are from Afghanistan, not Tajikistan.
Until 2005, Russia had 11,000 border guards manning the Tajik frontier with Afghanistan. In September 2012, and after months of negotiating, Russia and Tajikistan have reached an agreement on what Russia will pay for its bases in Tajikistan and extended the lease to 20 or 29 years. The bases are used for 9,000 Russian troops of the 201st Motor Rifle Division. The new deal with Tajikistan makes it worthwhile for Russia to upgrade the four army camps and one air base they occupy. To get the long lease, Russia agreed to sell Tajikistan weapons and military equipment at a sharp discount and train Tajik officers in Russian schools, for free, for the duration of the deal. Tajikistan also promises to help keep the heroin out of Russia.
U.S.-Tajik relations have developed considerably since September 11, 2001. The two countries now have a broad-based relationship, cooperating in such areas as counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, and regional growth and stability. In light of the Russian border forces' withdrawal from the Tajik-Afghan border, the U.S. Government leads an international donor effort to enhance Tajikistan's territorial integrity, prevent the transit of narcotics and material or technology related to weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and support a stable, peaceful Tajikistan in order to prevent the spread of influence and activities of radical groups and terrorists.
Inter-governmental organisation membership
Tajikistan is a member of the following international organisations:
- United Nations
- World Bank
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
- Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
- Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)
- Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)
- Eurasian Economic Community (EUASEC)
- Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
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This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of State website http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/index.htm (Background Notes).Tajikistan. State.gov (2010-09-22). Retrieved on 2010-10-21.