In his address to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan a Conservative Euro MP for Scotland Struan Stevenson said he “is frustrated to read that tension continues along the border between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. These are two wonderful nations in Central Asia, with proud and noble people who seek nothing more than peace and stability.”

He said that the poor of both countries have a struggle to survive, exacerbated by frontier tensions which have seen the cross-border railway closed, gas supplies severed and electricity lines cut.

“Such issues make the lives of the innocent even more difficult. But such issues also affect the wider economies of both countries. An end to border closures and a relaxation of tensions would enable normal trading to take place which would quickly boost the GDP of both nations. It seems to me to be a self-defeating policy to deny such improvements in inter-state relations,” he said in his message.

Furthermore, it is indefensible for the Uzbek side to blame the construction of a new hydropower project at Rogun on the Vakhsh River in Tajikistan for the border confrontation, the message says.

“Hydropower is a clean and green energy source and its further development will benefit all of the countries in the Aral Sea Basin including even Afghanistan. It would be far more sensible for the leaders of both Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to get together and resolve their differences in a peaceful and coherent manner, which would then reap untold benefits for both countries,” he said adding that he would be more than happy to broker such a meeting on neutral territory in the European Parliament in Brussels.