DUSHANBE, January 26, Asia-Plus -- On Thursday January 26, U.S> Ambassador to Tajikistan, Richard Hoagland, and Chairman of the State Committee for the Protection of the State Border of Tajikistan, Saydamir Zuhurov, attended a n official opening of new two facilities at the border crossing checkpoint facility “Bratstvo” on the Tajik-Uzbek border in Tursunzoda District.

This U.S.-funded border crossing facility is fully equipped with state-of-the-art computers and passport readers, which allows for real-time transmission of information on border crossing to all applicable Tajik agencies, as well as a dormitory, office space, and dining facilities for the assigned border guards.  

These two module blocks – passport control facility and dormitory and housing for the assigned border guards – were constructed under financial assistance of the Government of the United States.   

Ambassador Hoagland welcomed the impressive new facility:   "It''s a pleasure to see this progress and I thank all of you who helped make these improvements a reality.   I hope these facilities - and the professionalism of the Border Guards - are used and appreciated by many thousands of visitors to Tajikistan."

Mr. Hoagland telling the ceremony noted that over the past twelve months alone, Tajik border troops received the U.S. aid worth US$35 million.   He said that such state-of-art border crossings would appear soon on the Tajik-Afghan border as well.   

            For his part, Tajik border service chief expressed gratitude to the United States for assistance provided to the Tajik border troops.   He noted that equipment of the "Bratstvo" international checkpoint facility has not yet been completed.   “New facilities will be built here, and works on improvement of facility for a total amount of 129,000 Somonis will continue,” Saydamir Zuhurov said.    

            The EXBS program coordinator Paul Shott noted that it was planned to construction 8 such checkpoint facilities for a total amount of US$9 million on Tajikistan’s common border with Afghanistan.  

            According to Parviz Sayfutdiov, chief of the “Bratstvo” checkpoint facility, some 200-300 people as well as 20-30 vehicles are proceedings daily via this checkpoint.       

The United States has provided millions of dollars worth of inspection and detection equipment, vehicles, uniforms, and supplies to the Tajik State Border Protection Guards over the past several years.   The "Bratstvo" Crossing Point is the latest step in assisting Tajikistan meet international border standards to secure the territorial integrity of Tajikistan and to combat trafficking in narcotics, persons, and weapons.