DUSHANBE, December 6, 2011, Asia-Plus -- British Ambassador to Tajikistan, Trevor Moore, visited the Zarafshon Valley on November 29-30, accompanied by a British Embassy and Department for International Development (DFID) team, press release issued by the British Embassy in Dushanbe on December 5 said.

The Ambassador had meetings in Ayni and Panjakent.  The team familiarized itself with the social, economic and political situation in the region and reviewed the support which DFID is providing there under its Rural Growth Program (RGP).  Under RGP DFID and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) have been working closely with local government and communities in Ayni and Panjakent  to improve the planning and implementation of area Development Plans and to support small businesses through loans and specialist technical advice.

On November 29, the Ambassador and his team had a working lunch hosted by Mr. Rustam Rahmatov, Chairman of Ayni, who briefed the delegation on current issues in his District.  On that day the delegation also met with members of the Working Group for the drafting of the District Development Plan in Ayni.  There was also a visit to the “COMSUP” mining enterprise.

On November 30, the British Embassy team met with RGP Working Group members in Panjakent during which progress on the drafting and implementation of their District Development Plan was discussed.  Later, Mr. Khusrav Abdunazarov, Chairman of the Panjakent District, hosted a working lunch for the delegation and described developments in Panjakent and the wider Zarafshon Valley.

The Ambassador also visited the ancient site of old Panjakent and met with Tajik Professor Sharof Qurbonov, who briefed him on the continuing valuable archaeological research going on there.  The team then visited the local independent TV station “Simo”.  The director of the station, Mr. Ghaibullo Muhammadiyev, gave detailed information about TV “Simo” activities.

Later, the delegation visited the Water Users Association “Odil Temur,” which has received funding under DFID’s RGP project, and the office of a volunteer from VSO, the British NGO, who is also working with Federation of Water User Associations in Panjakent.  The Ambassador then met members of Civil Society and had a lively meeting with the students and teachers of the Pedagogical Institute of Panjakent.