Tajikistan, Uzbekistan Reach Visa Deal, Settle Border Dispute
Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have reached a deal to scrap visa requirements for their citizens to visit one another’s countries for stays of up to one month.
In another signal of warming ties between the historically suspicious neighbors, agreement has been reached on how to jointly manage a disputed section of land that hosts a hydropower station.
The breakthroughs are the most concrete results of Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov’s two-day visit to Dushanbe, which began on January 10.
The talks in Dushanbe are intended to lay the groundwork for what should be a historic trip to Tajikistan from Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in the early spring. Agreement thrashed out now will be definitely formalized when that happens.
An emerging theme of the rapprochement has been that Tajiks and Uzbeks should be able to travel and trade more freely among themselves in the interests of improving both economies. The lifting of the visa regime will mark a major step in that direction.
There are also plans to open to new train and bus routes, as well as setting up additional border crossings.
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