01/31/2023, 09.10
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Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan agree on disputed border

by Vladimir Rozanskij

Over the 1,314-kilometer-long border, the two sides have had armed clashes with many casualties. Agreement on joint exploitation of resources in affected areas. The territorial dispute between Kyrgyz and Tajiks still remains in the region.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - The conclusion of the long-standing border dispute between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, sanctioned on Jan. 27 in Biškek by Presidents Mirziyoyev and Žaparov, appears like a light in the fog of the borders that demarcate the Central Asian countries.

The former Soviet republics are heirs to a confusion desired by the communist regime to fractionalize and control the ethnic tensions of these peoples.

The border with Uzbekistan is the longest stretch of Kyrgyzstan's territory, stretching 1,314 kilometers. Disputes have often turned into conflicts, which have also claimed many lives.

In November last year, the authorities of the two countries had announced that they had reached a common settlement of the more than 30-year dispute.

Central Asian affairs expert, Novaja Gazeta political scientist Arkadij Dubnov, commented on the situation on Currentime.tv, saying he was very pleased with the agreement reached: "An event of historic significance, where there seemed to be insurmountable mutual claims, contradictions, ambitions and misunderstandings of all kinds."

The "penultimate border problem" in this region is thus solved, the dispute between Kyrgyzstan itself and Tajikistan still being open.

Now the border with Uzbekistan has instead been recognized as "interstate," thanks largely to the political will of Uzbek President Mirziyoyev and Kyrgyz President Žaparov: the latter had to stifle internal protest over the cession of the Kempir-Abad reservoir.

The hope, Dubnov says, is that all those arrested as a result of these protests will be freed as soon as possible to prevent the conflict from flaring up again.

The point is that the protesters of the agreement "did not propose any credible alternative," considering that these crucial sites for water and energy resources had remained undefined by the Soviet legacy.

The agreement does indeed provide for a territorial cession, but the exploitation of resources will benefit both countries, and "there is no need to claim demonstrative possession," the political scientist argues, but "to be able to work for the common good and remain in peaceful relations with neighbors."

Everyone's hope is that the agreement reached will inspire a similar solution for the problem with Tajikistan, but observers are not very optimistic in this regard.

Everything in Dushanbe is in the hands of the absolutist power of President Emomali Rakhmon, with whom it is difficult to find mutually acceptable compromises.

The Tajik leader has just fired the Minister of Labor and Emigration, Širin Amonzoda, for "wrong policy in managing administrative cadres."

The incident occurred during a closed-door meeting of the government to take stock of the past year's activities, from which the president's clear dissatisfaction with the work of his subordinates leaked out.

Rakhmon also lashed out at the head of communications and his own brother-in-law, Beg Sabur, for failing to manage the modernization of the country's Internet network, especially in "isolated and border regions," where more intensive exchange of information is needed, also precisely to prevent possible disruptive actions by adversaries such as the Kyrgyz.

Another target of presidential fury has been the chairman of the State Property and Investment Committee, Sadi Kodirzod, who has been unable to attract major economic interventions from abroad.

Overall, Tajikistan's satrap, who also presides over the religious administration of local Islam, shows no inclination to find friendly solutions in either domestic politics or foreign relations.

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