5 Oct 2017 11:24

Uzbekistan ratifies border treaty with Kyrgyzstan

TASHKENT. Oct 5 (Interfax) - Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has signed the law on ratification of the border treaty between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

The law was signed on Wednesday and published by official Uzbek media on Thursday, the day of the arrival of Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev in Uzbekistan for a two-day official visit.

The lower chamber of the Uzbek parliament passed the law on September 28, and the Senate approved it at a plenary meeting on October 5.

The treaty, which delimits 85% of the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border, or 1,170 kilometers and 530 meters of the 1,378-kilometer borderline, was signed on September 5, 2017, during a state visit of Uzbek President Mirziyoyev to Bishkek.

The presidents are due to exchange letters of ratification in regard to the border treaty during the Kyrgyz president's visit to Uzbekistan.

Kyrgyz President Atambayev signed the law ratifying the border treaty on October 2.

It has taken the two countries over 20 years to delimit their shared border. The unresolved border problem has been a source of frequent conflicts, some of them armed. The sides began making progress in the fall of 2016, after the death of Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov and the election of Mirziyoyev. Most of the border was delimited over the course of the year.

The sides have yet to find a solution to the complex problem of unfinalized border sections, which have triggered major altercations between Bishkek and Tashkent. There are two Uzbek exclaves, Sokh and Shahimardan, in Kyrgyzstan, and one Kyrgyz exclave, Barak, in the territory of Uzbekistan.