The Tajik president has asked Italy for a contribution of 150 million dollars in credit for the Rogun dam, on which the Italian group Webuild has been working since 2016, destined to become the highest in the world, Nova News, online newspaper of Agenzia Nova, reported on April 23.

It is reportedly above all about investments and cooperation in the security sector that the President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon, spoke yesterday in Rome with the President Sergio Mattarella and the Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. 

Nova News notes that a visit that Dushanbe has been pushing for some time and which, on the other hand, confirms Rome's growing interest in Central Asia.   An interest which, as the Ambassador to Uzbekistan Agostino Pinna (also credited for Tajikistan) reminds Agenzia Nova, will be confirmed in about a month with the Italy-Central Asia conference in the 1+5 format, which will take place in Rome. The last such meeting was held in Tashkent in December 2021.

“Among the countries in the region, Tajikistan plays an important geostrategic role, linked above all to the long border it shares with Afghanistan,” Pina was quoted as underlining. 

Rahmon reportedly discussed the Afghan dossier at length with his interlocutors in Rome, also focusing on the topic (connected) of the fight against terrorism and asking the Italian government for assistance in border control: in particular, training activities, cooperation between police forces and intelligence exchanges were discussed.  

The visit of Rahmon, who will stay in Italy for several days (on Friday 26th he will be received in the Vatican), however, also has the objective of strengthening economic relations and exploring new investment opportunities for Italy.  Starting from the Rogun dam, on which the Italian group Webuild has been working since 2016.  The project is long and expensive.  Rahmon yesterday asked Italy for a contribution of around 150 million dollars in credit on which Cassa Depositi e Prestiti will have to express its opinion (Cdp).  Other funds should come from international financial institutions such as the European Investment Bank, once the World Bank has verified compliance with the relevant standards.

Nova News says other opportunities to strengthen economic relations between Italy and Tajikistan (currently modest, with an exchange of around 100 million euros) they could emerge during a Country Presentation organized by the Ice Agency, in which representatives of around 30-40 companies on each side should take part.  The sectors of greatest interest, explains Ambassador Pinna, are those of agriculture and the textile industry.  

During the talks with Mattarella and Meloni, Rahmon reportedly offered his assessments of the war in Ukraine and its effects on Central Asia.