2 Apr 2019 16:29

Kyrgyzstan opposed to resolving border problems by force - PM

OSH. April 2 (Interfax) - Issues surrounding the delimitation and demarcation of the Kyrgyz-Tajik border require a balanced solution and cannot be resolved by force, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Mukhammedkaly Abylgaziyev said during a visit to the village of Ak-Sai in the Batken region on the border with Tajikistan.

"We know that the main problem is the delimitation and demarcation of the state border. It's a difficult issue that requires joint efforts of representatives of the two countries. It also requires a very balanced and constructive approach. It can't be resolved by force," the Kyrgyz government's press service quoted Abylgaziyev as saying.

Following the incident of March 13-14 near Ak-Sai between residents of Kyrgyz and Tajik border villages, several rounds of talks have been held with the Tajik side that have resulted in the "signing of a protocol the content of which meets the interests of both sides," the press service told Interfax on Tuesday.

The prime minister, however, has declined to provide details of this document.

A source in the Kyrgyz government told Interfax earlier that this document would regulate the use of a road that is located in Kyrgyz territory and leads to the Tajik exclave of Vorukh.

According to the source, the two countries' agreement allows Kyrgyz and Tajik citizens to use this road, which is several dozen kilometers long, on equal terms. Earlier, the sides could not agree on the terms of its use, which sparked conflicts between the sides.

Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister Zhenish Razakov told Interfax last week that Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan had already delimited 519 kilometers of their 720-kilometer border and had defined another 64 kilometers but not yet delimited them.

"Work on the delimitation and demarcation of the state border with Tajikistan will continue this year. It may take quite a long time, but this process mustn't be stopped," he said.

In 2019, Kyrgyzstan will continue similar talks with Uzbekistan on delimiting their border, Razakov said.

In 2017, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan signed an agreement regulating almost the entire state border between the two countries with the exception of around ten sites, which are referred to as "disputed" border sections.

In Soviet times, these territories were transferred from one Soviet republic to another for economic purposes. As a result, the areas have no clear borders and homes there are laid out in a checkerboard fashion. The border might pass right across the land of any one resident.

For this reason, the population of villages in the Aksy district of Kyrgyzstan's Jalal-Abad region on the border with Uzbekistan has expressed concern that as a result of border delimitation talks, some territories along the border, around 90 hectares, may be handed over to the neighboring state, thus causing certain social problems.

The Jalal-Abad region administration has called on local residents to stay calm and not panic, "because the work to delimit the state border is being conducted on the basis of all existing documents and maps and with due regard for the interests of citizens of the two republics."