An Uzbek government delegation comprising senior representatives at the level of deputy ministers of the country’s economic cluster arrived in Dushanbe on April 21, a source within the Tajik government told Asia-Plus in an interview.

Uzbek officials together with their Tajik counterparts will prepare draft cooperation documents, which are expected to be signed during Uzbek president’s official visit to Tajikistan.  

At the same time, the government delegations of the two countries will discuss state and prospects of further expansion of economic collaboration between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.  

Tajik Prime Minster Qohir Rasoulzoda and his Uzbek counterpart Abdulla Aripov will hold a meeting in the Tajik northern city of Khujand on April 24 to discuss issues related to preparations for the official visit of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Tajikistan and bilateral cooperation between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.  

Recall, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev will pay the official visit to Tajikistan from June 10-12 at the invitation of Tajik President Emomali Rahmon. 

The leaders of the two countries are expected to discuss state and prospects of further expansion of bilateral cooperation between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and progress in implementing the previously reached agreements.  

A number of cooperation documents in the fields of transportation, energy, finance, agriculture, trade, culture and science are planned to be signed during Uzbek president’s visit to Tajikistan, the source added. 

Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have accumulated many problems after collapse of the Soviet Union.  These problems caused the countries' relations to go into a deep freeze two decades ago, including disputes over water and borders.  The two countries had had the worst bilateral relations in Central Asia.

Relations between the countries have become warmer after Shavkat Mirziyoyev came to power in Uzbekistan in 2016.  Mirziyoyev has said that improving ties with Central Asian nations is a major priority of Uzbekistan’s foreign policy.

Emomali Rahmon and Shavkat Mirziyoyev have met several times since September 2016 and in March 2018, Mirziyoyev made an historic visit to Dushanbe, where 27 bilateral agreements were signed in the fields of trade, economy, investment, finance, transport and transit, agriculture, water and energy, taxes, customs, tourism, education and science, health, culture, interregional cooperation, in the field of security and countering crime.  One of the agreements signed in Dushanbe on March 9 last year after the negotiations was a deal enabling nationals of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to visit each other’s countries for up to 30 days without obtaining visa

Earlier in April 2018, Uzbekistan's national airline resumed flights from Tashkent to Dushanbe after a hiatus of some 25 years.  The air communication between Dushanbe and Tashkent was cut off in 1992 at Tashkent’s initiative and the issue of resumption of the direct air communication between the two countries has been raised at meetings between state officials of the two countries more than once.

27 bilateral governmental agreements addressing bilateral cooperation between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in industry, education, border security, agriculture and much else were signed during President’s Rahmon’s state visit to Uzbekistan in August 2018.