Kyrgyz and Tajik FMs agree on ceasefire along border
BISHKEK. April 29 (Interfax) - The foreign ministers of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have agreed to cease all gunfire and to pull the two countries' forces from the border, the press service of the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
"Following several rounds of talks between Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstan Ruslan Kazakbayev and Foreign Minister of Tajikistan Sirojiddin Muhriddin, an agreement was reached on a complete ceasefire from 8:00 p.m. and the armed forces' pullback to their previous positions," the press service said.
The parties discussed further joint efforts to sort out the situation on the two countries' border, the press service said.
"The foreign ministers of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan underscored the utmost need to settle the conflict situation, which has entailed deaths and injuries both on the Kyrgyz side and the Tajik side, by peaceful methods and through political-diplomatic negotiations," it said.
Kazakbayev said that Kyrgyzstan "has no claims to foreign territories, but does not intend to share its land with anyone else either."
All border and economic issues should be tackled through talks involving high-ranking representatives held by the governmental delegations on the delimitation and demarcation of the Kyrgyz-Tajik state border, he said.
Kazakbayev called for measures to maintain security and stability along the border and to prevent any steps aimed at heightening tensions among the local population.
"The parties also agreed to hold a separate meeting in the coming hours involving the heads of law enforcement agencies and security services, as well as representatives of local authorities to discuss further details of efforts to settle the situation. In addition, they agreed to patrol and monitor the situation along the border with the participation of territorial units of the border services," it said.
The situation deteriorated on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border on Thursday, and a shootout erupted between the two countries' armed forces, entailing casualties. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have accused each other of escalating tensions.
The Kyrgyz Health Ministry put the number of injuries as a result of the two-day conflict at 31. The Kyrgyz health minister reported the death of one person, while media outlets put the death toll from these events at two.
As many as 848 people were evacuated from several villages near the border, the Batken region administration said.