ASTANA – Kazakhstan and Tajikistan signed the Declaration on Allied Cooperation to intensify bilateral ties and launch new strategic projects during a May 4 meeting between President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, who was in Kazakhstan on a state visit, reported the Akorda press service.
Tokayev said Rahmon’s visit is historic, stressing both countries have a lot of work ahead as allied relations imply new strategic projects.
“It is necessary to elaborate two or three anchor strategic projects and instruct governments to work to implement these goals. I believe we will reach new heights in bilateral cooperation very soon,” Tokayev said.
Sharing common history and cultural and spiritual values, the two countries mark the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations this year. Both states enjoy trusting political dialogue at all levels and interact within various international structures, ensuring the stable development and security of Central Asia.
During the meeting, both presidents focused on strengthening trade and economic cooperation, increasing mutual trade, and developing cooperation in industry, agriculture, transport and digitalization.
The parties identified the main priorities and tasks in developing bilateral partnerships, emphasizing the need to improve conditions for expanding business contacts and economic cooperation.
For many years, Kazakhstan has been Tajikistan’s second-largest trading partner and one of the largest suppliers of wheat and flour. According to Tokayev, the country has resources to increase the export of vegetable oils, pasta, dairy products and confectionery.
Last year, bilateral trade grew by 18.5 percent reaching $1.4 billion. The sides agreed to increase this figure to $2 billion in the near future. During a May 3 business forum in Astana, Kazakh and Tajik companies signed contracts worth $1.8 billion.
The two nations prioritize the consistent strengthening of cultural and humanitarian ties. This year, Kazakhstan will host Days of Tajik Culture, which will also demonstrate the achievements of Tajikistan in agriculture.
“It is planned to open a monument to the famous scholar of the Middle Ages, philosopher and healer Abu Ali ibn Sina (Avicenna). The peoples of the two countries perceive all these achievements with great enthusiasm. They serve as a vivid example of our close relations,” Tokayev said.
In turn, Rahmon expressed his gratitude to Tokayev for the invitation to visit Astana and the traditional hospitality of the Kazakh people. He noted the productive negotiations and the importance of implementing joint projects. According to Rahmon, the country is committed to developing all aspects of the Tajik-Kazakh relations based on a strategic partnership.
“We preserve and develop the good tradition of regular contacts and trustful political dialogue at the highest level. I cherish our friendly relations,” said Rahmon.
Both presidents reaffirmed the similarity of approaches to the use of water resources of the transboundary rivers of Central Asia, as well as the need to strengthen constructive cooperation and search for mutually acceptable solutions, utilizing the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea.
The sides signed a package of new agreements to expand cooperation in economic sectors, including a memorandum of cooperation between the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies and the Center for Strategic Research, a memorandum on the establishment of sister city relations between Turkistan and Khujand, a program of cooperation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs for 2023-2025, and other agreements to boost export, tourism, agriculture and innovation sectors.
At the end of the meeting, the President of Tajikistan was awarded by Tokayev with the highest state honor of Kazakhstan, the Order of Altyn Kyran (Golden Eagle), for his significant contribution to strengthening friendship and cooperation between the countries.