Uzbekistan Breaks Silence on Tajik Giant Dam Project
Uzbekistan has after a long pause broken its silence on Tajikistan’s plan to build a giant hydropower dam long resisted by Tashkent.
Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Komilov was pushed off the fence on July 5 in a likely carefully choreographed television Q&A session. Reading a note submitted via the internet by a viewer, the moderator asked whether “Tashkent’s silence represents a change of position on the construction of hydro-technical infrastructure on the upper transboundary rivers of Central Asia?”
Komilov’s answer was similarly technical.
The United Nations proposes two conventions on the use of the Amu-Darya and Syr-Darya rivers that are deemed suitable by Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, he said.
“The position of principle remains that during the construction of such dams, the interests of both upstream and downstream countries should be considered. We do not say that our Tajik friends should stop the construction of the Roghun Dam. Go ahead and build it, but we hold to certain guarantees in accordance with these conventions that have been signed by you,” Komilov said.
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