High-level U.S. envoy urges Tajik, Uzbek negotiations


September 3, 2010

High-ranking U.S. diplomat Robert Blake urged Tajikistan to negotiate with Uzbekistan to resolve ongoing transport and hydropower disputes during his two-day visit to Tajikistan that ended Wednesday.

Blake, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Affairs, headed to Moscow on Wednesday following the end of his meetings with Tajik officials.

“The United States position on this issue coincides with the UN position that calls on [Tajikistan and Uzbekistan] to solve existing problems through negotiations,” Tajik news service AsiaPlus reported Blake as saying.

Blake met with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon during his visit as part of his mission to discuss the continuing partnership between the two countries and conduct a six-month review of their relations.

“The United States wants to work with the government of Tajikistan to help build a secure and free and prosperous future for the people of Tajikistan,” he said in a press conference following the meeting.

The United States and President Rahmon “are both committed to make progress on the full range of priorities on our bilateral agenda from security cooperation to improving the economy here in Tajikistan, to improving democracy and human rights here.”

The U.S. envoy also emphasized that the U.S. has no plans to build a military base in Tajikistan.

Blake also met with Islamic Revival Party (IRP) leader Muhiddin Kabiri at the party’s headquarters in Dushanbe.