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TAJIKISTAN


 

 

Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 1,303 1,208 1,100 148
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 190 180 180 197
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Tajikistan

REPUBLICAN REFERENCE

Area (sq.km) 
143,100 

Population 
7,011,556

Principal 
ethnic groups 
Tajiks 62.3%
Uzbeks 23.5%
Russians 17.6%

Capital 
Dushanbe

Currency 
Tajik Somoni

President 
Emomali Rakhmonov



Update No: 308 - (29/08/06)

Tajikistan may be the back of beyond in most people's eyes, but there is no doubt of its growing geopolitical importance in world politics. Washington courts it for its vital Afghan border and connections; Moscow for them and much else besides. 
China and Japan are highly interested in its hydroelectric power, a clean source of energy, as is India, which has a military base and hospital there. Likewise Pakistan is showing great interest.

Rahmonov Hosts Iranian, Afghan Presidents
Tajikistan is a Persian-speaking country as is northern Afghanistan and of course the original Persia, Iran. The leaders of Iran and Afghanistan arrived in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, in late July for talks with President Emomali Rahmonov and other senior Tajik officials. Discussions at the trilateral summit included trade and security issues.
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and Afghan President Hamid Karzai covered a lot of regional ground with Rahmonov, but they also provide a reminder of the affinities among these three Persian-speaking countries. 
It was Ahmadinejad's first visit to Dushanbe since taking office in August and was part of his two-country Central Asian tour that began in Turkmenistan. 
Dushanbe provides a modest amount of electricity to its Afghan neighbour, and the three leaders discussed ways to extend Tajikistan's power supply routes into Iran. 
Regional security issues also topped the agenda of the tripartite meeting. The Avesta news agency quoted a Tajik Foreign Ministry statement as saying the three presidents discussed ways to cope with what it described as today's global "challenges and threats."

The Iranian-Tajik axis 
In Dushanbe, political analyst Ismoil Rahmatov told RFE/RL's Tajik Service that cooperation between the two countries is considerable -- and it is gaining momentum. "Cooperation between Tajikistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran has been increasing lately. Iran has built the Anzob tunnel. The Iranian side has also committed itself to building a number of roads and the Sangtuda hydroelectric power plant, and to set up a number of small companies that will put out locally produced Tajik goods. At the present stage, Iran is playing a greater economic role than any other country in the region." 
Two major projects to bolster Tajikistan's infrastructure highlight Iranian-Tajik cooperation. President Ahmadinejad attended a ceremony to open a 5-kilometer tunnel through the Anzob Pass, connecting the capital with the northern Tajik city of Khojand, that was constructed with Iranian assistance. 
Tehran has also pledged to invest up to US$180 million in a Tajik hydroelectric power plant. Construction of the Sangtuda-2 facility was officially launched in February, although Iran is reportedly seeking additional financial guarantees from the Tajik side. 

History of Iranian-Tajik engagement 
Tehran has shown an interest in Tajikistan since the post-Soviet republic's first days of independence. When many other countries scaled back embassy staffing as Tajikistan's civil war broke out in the early 1990s, Iran had the prescience to increase its diplomatic presence. 
The Iranian government provided financial aid to the Tajik government during some of its darkest days of civil war (1992-97). But it also provided safe haven for some of the Islamic leaders from the United Tajik Opposition that were battling Tajik government forces. 
Iran -- along with Russia -- played a key role in facilitating a Tajik peace deal in June 1997. 
Iran's ambassador to Tajikistan, Nasser Sarmadi Parsa, is a key mediator today.

The Afghan-Tajik axis
Afghan woes have spilled over onto Tajik and Iranian territory on many occasions in the region's recent history. By most accounts, recent fighting in Afghanistan has affected Tajikistan and Iran less than fighting during Afghanistan's civil war in the 1970s, the Soviet invasion of the 1980s, or Taliban forces' drives west and north in the 1990s. But the Afghan drug trade continues to pose a major problem for both Dushanbe and Tehran. 
Karzai sought additional help from neighbouring Tajikistan and Iran to improve transportation routes into his country. And he explored the potential for energy supplies to fuel Afghanistan's recovery. 

India, Tajikistan Pledge To Boost Ties 
The Tajiks are looking further away too and are well aware of the growing importance of the coming Asian giant, India, lying the other side of the vast mountain ranges separating them. India's population is due to eclipse even China's by 2050.
President Rahmonov made a five-day visit to India in early August to cultivate closer ties. The office of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said New Delhi and Dushanbe agreed to further develop bilateral ties in a number of areas, including industry, agriculture, and transportation.
Both sides also vowed to boost bilateral trade, which currently "does not correspond to its real potential," Singh's office says.

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ENERGY

Dushanbe, New Delhi hold talks on energy, economic ties 


India and Tajikistan held talks recently to enhance their economic ties and cooperate in the energy sector as India seeks sources to meet its escalating energy needs. 
Tajik President, Emomali Rahmonov, who arrived in India on a five-day visit, held talks with Indian Premier, Manmohan Singh, in New Delhi, officials in India's Foreign Ministry said. 
Both countries are considering cooperation in the field of energy, particularly in the development of hydropower in Tajikistan, and the issue figured prominently in the talks, the officials said. The two leaders also held discussions on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest, the officials added. In its role as a partner in Tajikistan's development, India is involved in a number of projects in human-resource and technical-capacity development there. Rahmonov's visit also came as New Delhi has been endeavouring to upgrade its ties with the resource-rich Central Asian states, which it also considers strategically important. 
Rahmonov, accompanied by a high-level official and business delegation, was scheduled to address a joint business summit. He also planned to meet with his Indian counterpart, APJ Abdul Kalam, who was to host a dinner in his guest's honour, and was scheduled to visit cities in southern Hyderabad, considered India's information-technology hub.

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FOREIGN RELATIONS

Deepening relations with Western and Russian powers

Tajikistan's President, Emomali Rahmonov, and visiting US Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, vowed to strengthen cooperation in regional security, trade and energy, Interfax News Agency reported.
Rumsfeld arrived in Dushanbe on July 10th before flying to Kabul, capital of Afghanistan. After the meeting, Rahmonov said that US has offered immense help in fighting extremist and terrorist activities and stifling drug trafficking from Afghanistan.
It was also noted that Washington has provided important technological support for the construction of a Tajik border force and tightening security between the Tajik-Afghan border. The president added that Tajikistan believed it was very important for the country to develop relations with the United States.
He affirmed that Tajikistan will resolve Iran's nuclear issue through diplomatic means and was willing to cooperate with the United States and other countries involved in the anti-terror war to provide support for the reconstruction of neighbouring Afghanistan.
For his part, Rumsfeld said that the US is pleased with the cooperation between the two countries in areas such as safe-guarding regional security, politics, trade and the economy. He announced expanding further cooperation with Tajikistan. Besides strengthening its relations with the US, Tajikistan is also keen in establishing relations with Russia.
The Tajik Ministry has promoted its close ties with Russia at every turn. Faridun Mahmadaliyev, head of the ministry of defence press service, recently stressed the fact that more thAn 100 Tajik nationals have graduated from Russian military institutions and academies this year.
According to the Tajik Justice ministry, a new national public movement has been registered. "Friends of Russia" plans to open branches in all the regions of Tajikistan and wants to strengthen and boost social, political, economic and cultural relations between Tajikistan and Russia.
Meanwhile, French Defence, Michele Alliot-Marie has scheduled a short working visit to Dushanbe before going on to Kabul. She is planning to negotiate with Rahmonov and Defence Minister, Sherali Khayrulloyev. Paris is exploring ways to strengthen military and security collaboration between the two countries in combating terrorism, extremism and organised crime.

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