Tajikistan and the United States of America: Gardening a Tree of Friendship

A message from H.E. Mr. Farhod SALIM, Ambassador of Tajikistan to the United States of America

The Republic of Tajikistan and the United States of America celebrated 25th anniversary of bilateral relationship in 2016. The United States was among the first countries to recognize the independence of Tajikistan in 1991. Since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations, our countries continue to strengthen important, valuable and mutually beneficial cooperation and partnership in wide-range of areas, including countering drug trafficking, border security, agriculture, health, education and economic connectivity.

The Founder of Peace and National Unity – Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon in his Address to our Parliament noted, that “The essence and objectives of the open door foreign policy, implementation of which contributes to the constant increase of the numbers of our friends, will remain the same, and will serve to strengthen the cooperation of Tajikistan with all the countries of the world”. This foreign policy enables and encourages us to continue to improve further our ties and collaboration with our international partners to overcome modern challenges and threats and strengthen further our mutually beneficial relationships.

Since 2010 both sides introduced new format of bilateral engagement – Annual Bilateral Cooperation, where the issues of common interest are discussed openly and constructively. We believe this format is important, since it provides unique opportunity to exchange views and improve the relations, on the basis of mutual understanding and respect. 

Recently, the new multilateral format of engagement was established – C5+1 Ministerial Format, where our ministers of foreign affairs, following the outcomes of relevant working group’s meetings on important subjects, meet and set the new guidance for further cooperation. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan H.E. Mr.Sirojidin Aslov participated at all the Ministerial meetings of this Format, and he is actively engaged on promoting regional security and economic connectivity for the sake of future prosperity.

To ensure further economic development and improve wellbeing of people, the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan set three strategic goals; energy independence, food security and releasing the country from communication deadlock.

Tajikistan possesses rich natural resources, and hydro energy potential is among the largest of them that provide opportunity for economic prosperity. By utilizing these resources, Tajikistan can easily provide the region of Central and South Asia with environmentally clean and economically sufficient energy. We are grateful to our American partners for their engagement and support of the regional project of CASA-1000, which is aimed at the transmission of the energy from Central Asia to South Asia.   

Food security is among priority strategic goals of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan. Agriculture production development has been defined as an important factor of food security of the country. In this regard, sufficient use of a land, land improvement and its productivity, increase of export of fruits and vegetables are of priority tasks. The President of Tajikistan in his Address to the Parliament noted, that “we could ensure food security only when will more and more increase domestic agricultural production and will be less reliant to imported products”. Obviously ensuring food security of the country depends on productivity and sustainability of agricultural development, therefore this sector is an important section of Tajikistan’s economy that provides 20-21% of GDP.

To overcome the challenges of being in communication deadlock, the Government is implementing number of projects with our partners and international financial institutions to construct and modernize many roads, highways, railroads, bridges, tunnels, terminals (airports) and other transport infrastructures in accordance with the international standards. The implementation of these important communication projects is allowing us gradually break the communication deadlock. Some of these projects in Tajikistan have regional and international importance that will ensure access of the country to the sea ports of South Asia and transit highways of other countries. In this regard, Trade and Investment Framework Agreement between the United States and Central Asian countries can further assist regional connectivity. We are thankful to the Government of the United States for their support of constructing the biggest bridge in Panji Poyon, connecting Tajikistan with its southern neighbor and opening trade opportunities with South Asia.     

As Tajikistan’s hydro energy resources, our bilateral relations with the United States of America have enormous potential for further development and improvement, for the benefit of our people, our nations, our regions and our world. I am confident that with the approach of partnership and mutual respect, we can utilize these potentials gradually.

I would like to thank your publication for providing this opportunity to introduce the rich and ancient culture and region of Central Asia to our North American partners.

WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM #26 SUMMER 2017  text by Nick Fielding