DUSHANBE, April 8, 2009, Asia-Plus  -- President Emomali Rahmon has been awarded the Highest Decoration of the Olympic Committee of Asia (OCA) for his significant contribution to development of sports and Olympic movement in the country, according to presidential press service.

Visiting OCA Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah bestowed the decoration on President Rahmon, who also heads Tajikistan’s National Olympic Committee (NOC), on April 8.

In the course of the talks, Rahmon and Al-Sabah discussed a broad range of issues related to cooperation between Tajikistan and the Olympic Committee of Asia.  The OCA president noted that two documents on cooperation between Tajikistan’s NOC and OCA aimed at construction of sports facilities in Tajikistan and development of sports among Tajik school students would be signed in Dushanbe on Wednesday.

Tajik leader and Sheikh Ahmed, who is also a Kuwait government minister, also discussed bilateral cooperation between Tajikistan and Kuwait, including construction of roads and hydropower facilities in Tajikistan, export of drinking water from Tajikistan to Kuwait.

Sheikh Ahmed, in particular noted that his country could finance construction of 60 education and health facilities in Tajikistan, the press service said.

As it had been reported earlier, the OCA President Sheikh Ahmed  Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, heading an OCA delegation, arrived in Dushanbe on April 7 for a two-day visit.

The purpose of the visit was for the OCA delegation to get acquainted with development of the Olympic movement in Tajikistan and conduct negotiations with Tajik officials on further expansion of cooperation between the Olympic Council of Asia and Tajikistan, implementation of joint projects, as well as participation of Tajik athletes in the OCA events.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) is a governing body of sports in Asia, currently with 45 member national Olympic Committees.  The oldest NOC is from Japan, recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1912; whereas East Timor is the newest, joining in 2003.  The headquarters of OCA are located at Kuwait City.

The events of the OCA are Asian Games, Asian Indoor Games, Asian Winter Games, Asian Beach Games, and Asian Youth Games.