An official visit of Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov to Tajikistan has resulted in signing of four cooperation document, but none of them deals with borderline issues.

Meanwhile, the meeting tête-à-tête between President Emomali Rahmon and his Kyrgyz counterpart Sadyr Japarov lasted for almost six hours, and, as the protocol departments of the countries reported earlier, one of the topics of the meeting would be the issue related to the Tajik-Kyrgyz border. 

The parties, however, signed just two agreements on pension provision and cooperation between the national news agency Khovar and Kabar and two memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on cooperation in the fields of youth policy and public service.

Besides, the presidents singed a joint statement.  

Addressing a joint press conference with Kyrgyz president after their one-on-one meeting and a ceremony where various cooperation documents were signed, Emomali Rahmon noted that the issue of delimitation and demarcation of the mutual border was at the center of the negotiations.

“We discussed the issue of signing of an agreement on the Tajik-Kyrgyz border, which was previously generally agreed.  According to the draft document, some 520 kilometers has been properly delineated so far, and we today agreed on 32 other kilometers,” Tajik leader said. 

He noted that the parties had also discussed the latest tragic incident that took place along the disputed segment of the mutual border in late April.   

“Our countries have all necessary mechanisms of interaction for development of Tajik-Kyrgyz relationships, including the political dialogue.  Therefore, we pointed to the necessity of carrying out regular inter-agency consultations on various areas of cooperation,” Rahmon said

According to him, an attention was given to the issue of use of water resources of transboundary rivers in border areas.  

At the end of the negotiations, Sadyr Japarov invited Emomali Rahmon to visit Kyrgyzstan.  Emomali Rahmon accepted the invitation, but the specific date of the visit was not mentioned.

Meanwhile, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service says Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov has called deadly clashes along a disputed segment of the Kyrgyz-Tajik border "a heavy test for both nations."

Japarov reportedly made the statement on June 29 in Dushanbe at a meeting with his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon.

"The events of April 28-29 became a heavy test for our countries. Authorities of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan must prevent repetition of such events. Tajiks and Kyrgyz have had brotherly and neighborly ties for many years and we are doing our best to preserve the friendly relations," Japarov said at the meeting, which was initially scheduled for May before being postponed following the deadly clashes.

Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic were established on January 14, 1993 by signing the Protocol.  The Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic functions in Dushanbe since March 1997.  The Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan functions in Bishkek.

For the purpose of efficiently solving priority issues and further deepening of the bilateral cooperation between Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic the sustainable institutional foundation was established - Interstate Coordinating Council, The Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic, two Tajik-Kyrgyz Intergovernmental commissions: for comprehensive review of bilateral issues and on delimitation and demarcation of borders.

Priorities of political contacts of two countries are reviewed in the context of such common goals as strengthening of security and stability in the region, the assistance for further development of the integration process.

In this respect, cooperation within the framework of UN, OSCE, CIS, SCO, CSTO, IFAS, financial institutions and other international and regional organizations where the Republic of Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic take part in, is of great importance.

However, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have not yet resolved the border delineation problem.  Many border areas in Central Asia have been disputed since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  The situation is particularly complicated near the numerous exclaves in the Fergana Valley, where the borders of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan meet.

The border of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan has been the scene of unrest repeatedly since the collapse of the former Soviet Union.   

Border talks between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan began in 2002.  The countries share 976 kilometers of border – of which some 520 kilometers has reportedly been properly delineated, leading to tensions for the past 30 years. 

The latest clash along Tajikistan’s common border with Kyrgyzstan that took place in late April was the bloodiest one in the region over the past 20 years.  The countries have agreed a complete ceasefire after the worst violence in decades along the Tajik-Kyrgyz border that killed 55 people and wounded more than 300 other people.

The clash has reportedly brought mutual hostility from the previous local level to a national scale in both countries.  Thus, in a recent study by the International Republican Institute, Kyrgyz society cited neighboring Tajikistan as the country with which they have the worst relations.