Monitoring Desk: Writing a new chapter of bilateral history, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have announced visa-free regime for 30 days between two countries.
According to Tajik media, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon signed 27 bilateral agreements on March 9, 2018 including ease of visa regime for the citizens of two countries.
This was first visit of Shavkat Mirziyoev to Tajikistan after assuming Presidential office of Uzbekistan. He became President after December 2016 Presidential elections which were held following the death of his predecessor Islam Karimov. It is pertinent to mention that Tashkent introduced visas for Tajik citizens in 2001. Visa regime created several social problems for ethnic Tajiks living on the Uzbek side and ethnic Uzbeks on the Tajik side, many of whom have relatives or other connections in the other country.
After their meeting, both presidents said that their meeting was excellent and “Tajik-Uzbek relations will be reaching the level of strategic partnership in the nearest future.
It is pertinent to mention that both countries opened nine crossing points on the Tajik-Uzbek border — eight on roads and one on a railway line on March 8—- those were closed since several years.
Uzbek-Tajik relationship went through turbulence in past and Tashkent introduced visas for Tajik citizens intending to visit Uzbekistan in 2001 though both countries are historically and socially connected.
According to state news channels of Tajikistan, both countries would enhance bilateral trade tourism and would also work together in the field of transportation.
After 18 years any Uzbekistan President visited Dushanbe as last time late President Karimov visited Tajikistan in year 2000. The head of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon, was in Tashkent in the framework of bilateral contacts in January 1998.
Immediately after the arrival, the motorcade with the presidents of the two countries proceeded along the protocol route to the Kasri Millat Palace, where the heads of state would meet in a one-on-one format and negotiations in an expanded format. In the course of the movement, Rakhmon and Mirziyoyev were greeted by more than 12,000 students and schoolchildren who waved the flags of Uzbekistan and flowers.
According to the press service of the President of Uzbekistan, during the visit the heads of state would discuss the development of bilateral political, trade-economic, investment, financial, transport-communication, tourist, cultural, humanitarian and inter-regional cooperation, simplify mutual trips of citizens, and will consider regional and international problems of mutual interest.