History of diplomatic relations
The United States of America was one of the first states to recognize the Republic of Tajikistan`s independence. The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on February 14, 1992 and on March of that year the Embassy of the USA to Tajikistan with the residence in Kazakhstan was opened. The Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan in Washington was opened in 2002.
On January 20, 2009 President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon sent a congratulatory letter to US President Barack Obama for the inaugural occasion. In his congratulatory letter Emomali Rahmon stressed priority areas of cooperation between the two countries and mentioned the importance of exchange of official visits on high level between Tajikistan and the USA.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USA to Tajikistan is Susan Elliot (since October 2012).
On May 21, 2014 Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Tajikistan to the USA presented his credentials to US President Barak Obama. Taking this opportunity the Ambassador extended the massage of President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon to US President Barack Obama. During the meeting the Ambassador stressed that deepening further friendly relations between Tajikistan and the USA will contribute to peace, security and the development of regional economy. He also mentioned the importance of strengthening cooperation in the field of border security in southern part of the country. US President Barack Obama expressed gratitude to President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon for the regional cooperation, consolidation of peace, security and economic rehabilitation of Afghanistan.
To discuss wide range of bilateral cooperation the Republic of Tajikistan and the USA hold Annual Bilateral Consultations once a year. During the consultations bilateral relations, creation of congenial investment climate, water and energy, human rights situation, border protection, fight against drug trafficking and international terrorism are discussed.
With the participation of the delegation of the two countries there have been held five such consultations since 2010:
Legal basis of the Republic of Tajikistan and the USA
The Legal basis between the Republic of Tajikistan and the United States of America consist of more than 30 documents in the economic, investment, agriculture, humanitarian and other fields.
1. Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Government of the USA regarding cooperation to facilitate the provision of assistance - 15.09.1993. Dushanbe;
2. Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Government of the USA on commercial cooperation - 01.07.1993. Dushanbe;
3. Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Government of the USA on promotion of investment - 25.06.1992. Dushanbe;
4. Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) - 26.12.02. Dushanbe;
5. Agreement between the Government of the Republic Tajikistan and the Government of the USA on the conditions for promotion of humanitarian assistance, which is provided by the US Government - 19.08.03. Dushanbe;
6. Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Government of the USA on the construction of a bridge between the Republic of Tajikistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan - 31.12.03 Dushanbe;
7. Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Government of the USA for the supply of agricultural products in the framework of the program "Feed for future" 09.06.97. Dushanbe;
8. Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Government of the USA on cooperation in the field of drug control and cooperation with law enforcement agencies 27.01.03 Dushanbe;
9. Employment Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Government of the USA 12.08.03 (exchange of notes);
10. Framework Agreement between the Government of the USA and the Governments of the Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on cooperation in the field of trade and investment. 01.06.04, Washington;
Until now there have been a lot of visits of Tajikistan’s representatives to the US and US representatives to Tajikistan. For instance:
- On October 21-22, 2011 the State Secretary of the United States, Hillary Clinton paid an official visit to Tajikistan.
- On September 4, 2013 the US Undersecretary of Defense of Intelligence Incumbent Michael Vickers visited Tajikistan.
- On November 22, 2013 the US Transportation Command General William M. Fraser III visited Tajikistan.
- On January 24, 2014 Major General and current Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East and Rear Admiral Colin J. Kilrain Special Operations Command visited Tajikistan.
- On February 10, 2014 Lieutenant General James L. Terry, Commander, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Forces – Afghanistan, and Commanding General, U.S. Army V Corps visited Tajiksitan.
- On February 25-26, 2014 delegation of Tajikistan headed by the Minister of Education and Sciences Nuriddin Said visited US to participate in the meeting of Head of Directors of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
- On March 12, 2014 the delegation of Tajikistan headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Mr. Sirodjidin Aslov visited US to hold bilateral meetings with senior State Department officials.
- On April 3-4, 2014 Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of the US Department of State Carol Z. Perez visited Tajiksitan.
- On June 12-13, 2014 Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Ms. Fatema Sumar visited Tajikistan and on June 13, 2014 met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan Mr. Sirodjidin Aslov.
- On March 16-17, 2015 meetings of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan H.E Mr. Sirodjidin Aslov with Deputy Secretary of State Etoni Blinken, United States House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats, the International Committee of the US Congress House of Representatives Dana Rohrabacher, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs David Shear, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Laura Tuck.
Trade and economic cooperation
Bilateral trade and economic cooperation between the Republic of Tajikistan and the USA are gradually developing. The meetings aiming of the elimination of trade barriers and development of bilateral trade are conducting regularly with the representatives of the US authorities and the private sector.
The volume of bilateral trade between Tajikistan and USA was equal to $114.7 million USD in 2014. Exports $ 490.0 thousand and Imports $ 114.248 million USD. Foreign trade turnover amounted to 5655.6 thousand USD in the first quarter of 2015. Exports 78.0 thousand USD and Imports amounted to $ 5577.6 thousand USD. The US side mainly exports chicken products and frozen meat to Tajikistan.
Tajikistan also has established cooperation with the USA within the Framework Agreement between the USA and the countries of Central Asia on the development of economic cooperation and investment (TIFA). The mentioned Agreement was signed in Washington on June 1, 2004.
In the framework of this Agreement, the meetings of TIFA Council are held annually in one of the member states countries. Its main purpose is the development of economic cooperation, integration of the Central Asian region, simplification of customs procedures etc. The representatives of the Customs Service and the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade as well as other agencies of Tajikistan attending TIFA Council meetings to discuss new ways for integration of regional markets and elimination of difficulties in the movement of goods between the Central Asian countries. Next TIFA Council meeting has been scheduled for November 2015 in Bishkek.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) also has its own contribution in strengthening bilateral economic cooperation between the two countries. Currently, various USAID projects are implementing in Tajikistan. Especially in the fields of agriculture, health, water supply, education, women empowerment, farm development, feed for future etc. During 2015 the USAID provided medicines, irrigation machinery as well as other forms of assistance to Tajik appropriate authorities.
Bilateral Cooperation in the field of culture and education
On May 17, 2014 in the central Avenue of Washington, located near the Palace of the US Congress, with the initiative of the Embassy of Tajikistan the cultural corner of the country and traditional handicrafts (suzani, musical instruments, national costumes, types of stones and pottery vessels, and photos) were displayed. The event was held in the framework of 2014 Fiesta Asia Street Fair, which is initiated by the Asia Heritage Foundation and takes place annually in the host country.
On January 15, 2015 in the framework of the George Washington University Program for Central Asia, the film of famous Tajik filmmaker Boris Kimyagarov under the title of "Hasani Arobakash" was demonstrated.
On March 14, 2015 in Washington DC in Andrew Mellon Auditorium the Fifth year anniversary of the establishment of The Nowruz Commission was celebrated. In the event the US governmental representatives, trade groups, cultural and diplomatic corps participated. During the above-mentioned event Naser Kazeminī, the present Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Commission presented the congratulatory message of the US President Barack Obama on the occasion of Nowruz holiday and the Fifth year anniversary of the Nowruz Commission to the guests and participants of the event.
On March 15, 2015 with the initiative of the Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan in Washington DC, People of Tajikistan in America (PTA) and the Tajik American Cultural Association (TACA) the Nawrouz holiday was celebrated. Ambassador of the Republic of Tajikistan to the US welcomed and congratulated the participants of the event for the occasion of Nowruz holiday. During the event, various cultural programs, such as displaying clothes, national dances and singing were demonstrated for the participants. The winners of the programs were presented gifts.
On May 16, 2015 in the central Avenue of Washington, located near the Palace of the US Congress, with the initiative of the Embassy of Tajikistan the cultural corner of the country and traditional handicrafts (suzani, musical instruments, national costumes, types of stones and pottery vessels, and photos) were displayed. The event was held in the framework of 2014 Fiesta Asia Street Fair, which is initiated by the Asia Heritage Foundation and takes place annually in the host country.
On May 21, 2015 at the Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan in Washington DC the event dedicated to the Day of Tajik Youth with the participation of students and leaders of Tajik communities in the host country, including the Tajik American Association (TAA), the People of Tajikistan in America (PTA) and Tajik American Cultural Association (TACA) was held. The Ambassador of Tajikistan to the US congratulated participants on the Youth Day and gave a speech on the country's youth policy and the contribution of young people in the future of the country.
It can be observed that there is increase in the number of exchange students and teachers on both sides. There are several training program by the US, which are active in Tajikistan, such as Edmund Muskie, Fulbright, Flex, Kopran research program and economic program of SABIT. Under this program, the Government of the USA each year invites young Tajik scientists for to study in the USA.
From March 30 till May 07, 2005 Delegation of the University of Montana visited Dushanbe. During their visit the Memorandum of Mutual Understanding between the Ministry of Education and the University of Montana has been signed. In addition Protocols between the University of Montana and the Kulyab State University and the Kurgan-Tube State University have been signed.
On July 19, 2005 the US Ambassador to Tajikistan R. Hougland has opened educational Internet - center at the Islamic University of Dushanbe. This center is one of 24 educational centers in Tajikistan.
On September 23, 2008 the ceremony of the opening of Internet-cafe took place in Dushanbe with participation of Mayor of Bolder, USA Shaun McGrath. Internet -cafe became the return gift of the people of Bolder to the people of Dushanbe.
On June 6, 2013 took place a Ceremony of the 20th Anniversary of the FLEX Program in the U.S. Congress, according to which 24 students from the Republic of Tajikistan have completed their studies in this program for the 2012-2013 academic year.
On February 25-26, 2014 the Tajik delegation led by Minister of Education Mr. Nuriddin Saidov participated in Board of Directors meeting of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) in Washington.