Iranian, Tajik presidents underscore closer relations

November 29, 2008

TEHRAN, Nov. 28 (MNA) – Tajik President Imomali Rahmon conferred here on Thursday with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the expansion of bilateral relations.

At the meeting, the two presidents reviewed the current global developments and the economic crisis in the West and called for formation of an independent economic system in the region.
The two presidents also underlined that strategic ties between Iran and Tajikistan are now developing and urged the need to further broaden cooperation using each other's capabilities and experiences, IRNA reported.
There are many grounds for expansion of mutual ties in the areas of water, electricity, energy, construction of dams, railway tracks, industry and mines, setting up of free trade zones as well as industrial cooperation, underlined the two presidents.
The Tajik president also met Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki to discuss the development of bilateral and regional relations in a meeting here on Friday.
In their meeting they examined ways to expand cooperation among Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan to fight drug trafficking.
The Police Chief Brigadier General Esmaeil Ahmadi Moqaddam said on November 16 that three tons of drugs are discovered in Iran daily.
The Mehr News Agency quoted him as saying that Iran, being a neighbor of the biggest drug producer in the world, has suffered the greatest financial and human losses in its efforts to fight drug trafficking.
The MNA reported the officials discussed ways to expand cooperation in line with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) policy.
SCO is an intergovernmental mutual-security organization, which was founded in 2001 by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Except for Uzbekistan, the other countries had been members of the Shanghai Five, founded in 1996; after the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed the organization.
Cooperation in the fields of transport, energy, power plant, railroad, and trade were also discussed in the meet.
Iran’s ambassador to Tajikistan stated on October 15 that Tehran-Dushanbe trade value in the first half of the current Iranian calendar year (started March 20, 2008) has increased by about 3.5 fold compared with the corresponding figure of the same period in 2007, IRNA reported.
Rahmon met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a separate meeting and signed a memorandum of understanding in a bid to develop transport cooperation.
Rahmon’s visit to Iran was in the wake of an invitation by Ahmadinejad