Kyrgyzstan Says Border With Tajikistan Can Reopen ‘Gradually’ After Delimitation Work

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Authorities in Kyrgyzstan’s southern region of Batken say the border with Tajikistan, shut down more than two years ago following a deadly standoff, can “gradually reopen” after delimitation and demarcation work between the two Central Asian nations is fully accomplished.

The Batken regional administration said on August 3 that border issues had been discussed last month by officials of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, adding that the issues of security and safety in areas close to the three nations’ borders were the main focus.

The statement came hours after Rajabboi Ahmadzoda, the governor of Tajikistan’s Sughd region bordering Batken, said he and his Batken counterpart, Abdikarim Alimbaev, had reached an agreement at talks last month in the Kyrgyz resort town of Cholpon-Ata to reopen the Tajik-Kyrgyz border for residents of the areas close to the border and vendors.

Kyrgyzstan closed the border in spring 2021 after an armed conflict along a disputed segment of the border left 36 Kyrgyz nationals, including two children, dead and 154 injured on the Kyrgyz side of the border.

Tajik authorities officially said at the time that 19 Tajik citizens were killed and 87 injured at the time.

In all, the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan is 972 kilometers, of which 664 kilometers have been agreed upon, while the rest remain disputed.

Many border areas in Central Asian former Soviet republics have been disputed since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The situation is particularly complicated near the numerous exclaves in the volatile Ferghana Valley, where the borders of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan meet.

Tensions in those areas have led to clashes between local residents and border guards of the three countries.

Source : Rferl