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Tajik-American relations

Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Tajikistan and the United States of America were established on February 14, 1992.

The Embassy of the United States in Dushanbe was opened in March 1992. The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the U.S. to the Republic of Tajikistan is Madam Susan M.Elliott (since September, 2012).

The Republic of Tajikistan opened its Embassy in Washington in December 2002. The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Tajikistan to the United States of America is Nuriddin Shamsov (since July, 2012).

Events of September 11, 2001 and beginning of antiterrorist operation in Afghanistan marked a stage in development of bilateral cooperation between the Republic of Tajikistan and the United States of America.  

Today the Tajik-American relations are effectively developing in the following fields: trade and economic, humanitarian, security, military-political, fighting against the international terrorism, culture and education, public health services and etc. Intensification of bilateral contacts is evidence of US interest in further strengthening of cooperation between countries.

An important event which demonstrated strengthening relations between the Republic of Tajikistan and the USA was the opening of a new U.S. Embassy compound in Dushanbe on June 28, 2006 with participation of the President of Tajikistan.

Tajikistan and the United States have a broad-based relationship, cooperating in different mutually beneficial areas such as counter-narcotics, counterterrorism, non-proliferation, and regional growth and stability. In 2010, the United States and Tajikistan launched an Annual Bilateral Consultation (ABC) process to enhance bilateral cooperation. ABC’s took place in Washington (2010, 2012) and in Dushanbe (2011) accordingly. Tajikistan also has been a strong partner to the United States and international forces in efforts to bring security and peace to Afghanistan, playing an important role in supply and transit routes.

Cooperation in the field of education and health care between the countries is strengthening. In June, 1996 in Washington the Cooperation Agreement between Ministry of Education of Tajikistan and the American Councils for International Education (ACCELS) was signed. Within the framework of this scientific-educational cooperation exchanges are foreseen and which provides an opportunity for many scholars and students to study in the United States.

The important event on bilateral relations between the Republic of Tajikistan and the United States of America was the opening of bridge on August 26, 2007 in the Panj River, which was constructed by financial support of USA and connected Tajikistan with Afghanistan.

The official opening ceremony took place with the participation of presidents of Tajikistan and Afghanistan as well as the US Secretary of Commerce, Carlos M. Gutierrez.

To strengthen bilateral and regional trade and investment ties on June 17-18, 2008 the fourth annual meeting of the Council of the U.S. - Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) was hosted by Tajikistan in Dushanbe. Delegation from Afghanistan joined TIFA as an observer at the meeting. The participants of the meeting considered the condition of economic cooperation on investment and trade in Central-Asian region, as well as between region and USA.

Tajikistan applied for WTO membership on May 29, 2001 and the working group on the accession of Tajikistan was established by the WTO General Council on 18 July 2001.  Tajikistan's negotiations to join the WTO lasted for 11 years and concluded its membership on October 26 2012. Tajikistan became the 159th full-fledged member of the Organization beginning from March 2, 2013.

Tajikistan has gone through a long and complicated process to become a member state of WTO, practical support and assistance of partners, specially the US Government in this process was valuable.

In the framework of 63rd sessions of UN General Assembly on September 2008 in New-York city the President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Emomali Rahmon met with the U.S. Deputy of Secretary of State William Burns. During the meeting the issues of development of cooperation in the field of energy, transport and communication, formation of regional electric power, as well as cooperation with International Financial Institutions have been discussed.

On January 17, 2009 the U.S. Central Commander General David Petraeus visited Dushanbe and during the visit D. Petraeus met with the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon. The perspectives of bilateral relations, as well as potential of the development of Central-Asian region, situation in neighboring Afghanistan, including transit of cargo through Tajikistan by commercial means to support US efforts in Afghanistan have been discussed.

On February 20, 2009 Mark Harnitchek, Director, Strategy, Policy, Programs, and Logistic Directorate USTRANSCOM visited Tajikistan. During his visit he met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan and a number of Tajik military officials. During the meetings the prospects of bilateral cooperation, the transit of cargo through Tajikistan by commercial means to support the U.S. efforts in Afghanistan have been discussed.

On February 12, 2010 the first Annual Bilateral Consultations between the Republic of Tajikistan and the United States was held in Washington. In the consultations the official delegation of the Republic of Tajikistan was led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Hamrokhon Zarifi. During the consultations the parties discussed issues of bilateral cooperation, investment climate, water and energy, human rights, border security, fight against drugs and international terrorism.

On October 22nd,  2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Dushanbe and met the President of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan. Secretary of State made these remarks after the meeting with Minister Zarifi, Thank you very much, Foreign Minister Zarifi, for that very warm welcome to Tajikistan. It’s my first visit here. The beauty of this country is well renowned, from the glaciers and mountains to the rivers and forests, as is the hospitality of your people. So I am greatly appreciative. And I want to say directly to the people of Tajikistan that the United States values the relationship and friendship between our two countries, and we are committed to a long-term partnership to advance the opportunities and brighten the future for the people of this absolutely beautiful country.

I appreciated, too, the chance to discuss with the Foreign Minister and President Rahmon a wide range of issues that the foreign minister has just briefly described. We talked about our work to improve Tajikistan’s security, particularly along your border with Afghanistan; to combat drug trafficking, which is threatening every nation in this region; and I want especially to praise Tajikistan for the progress you have made in fighting human trafficking, which was reflected in the latest Trafficking in Persons Report compiled by the United States State Department.

I also want to emphasize that I thanked the president for the critical role Tajikistan has played in the international community’s efforts to bring security and peace to Afghanistan. Tajikistan has been a strong partner, not only to us but to the 48 nations in the international forces. We have worked to defeat al-Qaida, to increase pressure on the Taliban, and to support an Afghan peace process aimed at ending the conflict and bringing wider stability to this region. And I conveyed my thanks on behalf of the United States Government to the President”.

On March 26-27, 2012 the United States Assistant Secretary of State, Robert Blake participated in the Fifth Conference of the Regional Economic Cooperation on Afghanistan (RECCA V), which took place in Dushanbe.
In the framework of this Conference Robert Blake met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan Hamrokhon Zarifi. During the meeting the sides exchanged views on the implementation of existing regional projects aimed at economic development of Afghanistan, in particular the construction of infrastructure and energy projects.

On May 16, 2012 a meeting between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan Hamrokhon Zarifi and United States Secretary of State Madame Hillary Clinton took place in Washington DC.
During the meeting Foreign Minister of Tajikistan emphasized the issues related to the situation in Afghanistan, the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan by 2014 and the assistance of the United States to Tajikistan to strengthen border security and law enforcement institutions.

U.S. Secretary of State noted a good level of bilateral cooperation between the countries and expressed appreciation to Tajikistan for its support of coalition forces in Afghanistan. Madam Clinton emphasized the important role of Tajikistan in the settlement of the situation in Afghanistan and reaffirmed the U.S. willingness to continue assisting Tajikistan in strengthening its borders and in the fight against drug trafficking, terrorism and other challenges. Madame Clinton and Mr. Zarifi also discussed the implementation of the agreements reached during the RECCA V Conference regarding infrastructure projects in Afghanistan, supporting Tajikistan in its efforts to join the WTO, development of democratic and civil societies in Tajikistan and other bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest.

On May 17, 2012 the delegation of Tajikistan took part in the Annual Bilateral Consultations with the United States of America. Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan Hamrokhon Zarifi headed the Tajik delegation.

In the framework of his visit to Washington Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan met with a member of the U.S. Congress, the Chairman of the House of Representatives subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia Mr. Dan Burton. The sides reviewed the state of bilateral cooperation and the role of parliament in the further development of relations between the U.S. and Tajikistan.

On May 17, 2012 at the Central Asia and Caucasus Institute of Johns Hopkins University a presentation was held by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan Hamrokhon Zarifi on the topic of "Tajikistan and Central Asia in light of the 2014". During the presentation, the Minister of Foreign Affairs shared his vision on the situation in the region in light of the withdrawal of coalition troops from Afghanistan in 2014 and a number of infrastructure projects for economic and social rehabilitation of this country.

President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon received a delegation of U.S. Congress on July 5th, 2012 led by a member of the House of Representatives Honorable Dan Burton. The sides discussed ways to enhance political, economic, commercial, investment, defense cooperation and security cooperation between Tajikistan and the United States.

On November 8th, 2012 the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon sent congratulatory message to His Excellency Barack Hussein Obama on his re-election as the President of the United States of America, noting:

«Tajikistan highly values current level of its partnership relations with the United States of America, comprehending various aspects of mutually beneficial cooperation in the areas of policy, security, economy and trade, humanitarian and cultural spheres.

Availing this opportunity I reiterate keen interest of Tajik side in developing and deepening of scale of multidimensional ties with the United States and express my willingness to strengthen this process for continuation of constructive dialogue between the two friendly states at all levels».

On January 17th, 2013 at the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in Washington DC, with the initiative of the Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan in the United States of America the joint event on presentation of “The Tajik Golden Heritage” book, which is published by the Minister of foreign affairs of Tajikistan Mr. H. Zarifi, took place.

The event was participated by the guests and high level governmental officials, representatives of the private and cultural sector, especially Geoffrey Pyatt- Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and  Central Asian Affairs, Roberta Shaffer- The Associate Librarian of Congress, Dr. Frederick Starr- Chairman of the Central Asia – Caucasus Institute, John Hopkins University, H.E. Zalmai Khalilzad- former US Ambassador to the UN and Iraq, scholars, researchers, foreign diplomats, Head of Tajik associations and representatives of the media.

On February 20th, 2013 the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon received the US Assistant Secretary of State on Central and South Asia Robert Blake. During the review of a wide range of issues related to multidimensional cooperation between Tajikistan and the United States it was expressed satisfaction over the mutually beneficial relations between the two countries. Robert Blake thanked the President and people of Tajikistan on behalf of the US Government for remarkable role in ensuring security and stability in the region, active assistance in revival of peaceful life in Afghanistan and socio-economic development of this war-torn country.

It was also highlighted that America will continue its support of measures of Tajikistan to strengthen fight against terrorism, extremism and illegal drug trafficking, as well as will assist more in enhancing protection of state border with Afghanistan and improve technical and material base of relevant forces of the country.

On April 12th, 2013, the U.S. State Department, through Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere), has delivered over $ 15 million worth of medicine to Tajikistan.  Hospitals and medical institutions throughout Tajikistan will receive the medications free of charge. Ambassador Susan M. Elliott participated in the handover ceremony at the Republican Clinical Center of Endocrinology in Dushanbe. 

Tajikistan gives a great importance to the strengthening and extension of relationship with the United States of America. The United States assists Tajikistan to promote democratic reforms in the country, facilitate social development, rule of law and human rights. US also support Tajikistan military and law enforcement agencies to increase their capacities.

 

Tajikistan shares the New Silk Road Initiative and believes that this initiative proposed by the US would be a significant element for an implementation of a large number of life-saving projects, particularly in rehabilitating genuine peace and stability in war-ravaged Afghanistan through socio-economic programs. The initiative envisages promotion of prosperity and a growth of countries in the whole region and encourages countries in the region to work closely in advancing the New Silk Road concept.

 

 

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