President Rahmonov hails progress in Tajik-US relations

The Tajik president has said cooperation between Tajikistan and the USA
has been gaining pace, Tajik radio has reported. President Emomali
Rahmonov, who was receiving US officials in Dushanbe on 4 February, also
said that Tajikistan was paying particular attention to the stable
development of cooperation between the two states and that it would
support the US initiative on a framework agreement on trade and
investment. The following is the text of a report by Tajik radio on 4
February; subheadings inserted

Tajik President Emomali Rahmonov received a representative of the US
State Department and the coordinator of European and European-Asian aid,
Carlos Pascual, and the assistant administrator of the US Agency for
International Development for Europe and Eurasia, Kent Hill, today. Our
correspondent, Nizomshoh Nizom, reports:

Mutual relations

At the beginning of the conversation the head of state said that the
Tajik government was paying particular attention to the stable
development of cooperation with the USA, which is gaining pace thanks to
political relations.

Stressing the Tajik president's contribution to uniting various
political forces, national unity and peace, Carlos Pascual said that
irrespective of the living conditions of some strata of the population,
progress in economic reforms, the rise in the economy's main indices, a
proper financial policy and social support to the needy are evidence of
the fact that the president has chosen an exemplary policy.

The sides noted that the development of bilateral cooperation in
political, military, economic and humanitarian fields was evidence of
the productive use of the existing potential.

It was noted that mutually advantageous relations would meet Tajik and
US interests, and would be a significant factor in ensuring peace and
stability in the region.

An exchange of views also took place on ways to develop trade and
economic cooperation and the use of free investment space in the
national economy.

The sides expressed satisfaction with the beginning of the construction
of a bridge across the River Panj [to Afghanistan] and the allocation of
funds to upgrade Dushanbe airport's runway.

International, regional affairs

It was noted that the USA can have a useful role in Tajikistan's
entering the World Trade Organization [WTO], which would promote
economic development in the country.

The president's spokesman, Abdufattoh Sharipov, quoted President Emomali
Rahmonov as saying during the meeting that the Tajik government
supported the US initiative on the regional framework agreement on the
development of trade and investment cooperation between Central Asian

This initiative is a firm step towards developing multilateral
relations, and Tajikistan is ready to take an active part in the work of
the US-Central Asian council on trade and investment [Rahmonov said].

Regional security, particularly the present situation in Afghanistan,
contributing to the restoration of this country which has suffered much
and other significant international and regional issues were also
discussed during the meeting.

The sides expressed the hope that Tajik-US cooperation would have good
and fruitful prospects.

News conference

After a meeting which lasted more than three hours, Carlos Pascual told
foreign and domestic journalists the following:

[Pascual, in English with Russian translation overlaid] We had a very
interesting conversation with the president today. We discussed all the
essential issues and problems facing Tajikistan in this transitional
phase. We discussed issues relating to Tajikistan's being admitted to
the WTO, which will help it to become a fully-fledged member of the
world economic community. We discussed regional cooperation, which can
help Tajikistan to cooperate with neighbours on an equal basis. We also
discussed Tajikistan's ability and potential to participate in the
framework agreement on trade and investment, which will help to
eliminate all existing barriers on the way to regional cooperation. We
also discussed political reforms and their role in the country's further
development and prosperity.

Source: Tajik Radio first programme, Dushanbe, in Tajik 0800 gmt 4 Feb

BBC Mon CAU 040204/ag/as





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