DUSHANBE, October 29, 2012, Asia-Plus -- Tajikistan''s presidential press service says President Emomali Rahmon called his Uzbek counterpart, Islam Karimov, on October 29 to mark the 20th anniversary of Tajik-Uzbek diplomatic ties.

The leaders exchanged congratulations by telephone, expressing hopes “to bring the bilateral ties on a higher level.”

Radio Liberty reports that the call is noteworthy since the two presidents barely communicate with each other.

Dushanbe-Tashkent relations remain strained due to disputes over water and energy resources and transit routes.

Uzbekistan openly opposes Tajikistan''s project to complete the Roghun hydropower plant, saying that the project will leave Uzbekistan without water.

Tashkent has been cutting electricity and natural gas supplies and closing road and railway connections between the two countries.