The Russian president on Thursday met his Kyrgyz and Tajik counterparts in an attempt to settle border differences between the two neighbors.
The meeting between Vladimir Putin, Kyrgyzstan’s Sadyr Zhaparov and Tajikistan’s Emomali Rahmon took place on the sidelines of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Putin noted Russia’s close ties with both countries, called them allies, and emphasized that the three countries work together in several international organizations.
“We have been planning to gather in such a composition for a long time … Finally, such a meeting has been organized on the sidelines of today’s event. I want to thank you for agreeing to talk and meet in this format,” Putin said.
The length of the border of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan is more than 980 km, but only 660 km of it was agreed upon after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, while dozens of sections are disputed by both sides, provoking clashes.
The latest border conflict occurred in mid-September, leaving scores of Tajik and Kyrgyz citizens killed.
The two sides agreed to Sept. 20 on termination of hostilities, withdrawal of troops and a thorough investigation of the armed clashes.
Meanwhile, Zhaparov cancelled the joint military exercises of the Collective Security Treaty Organization scheduled for Oct.10-14, and did not come for an informal meeting of the heads of the Commonwealth of Independent States on Oct. 7.