Long and difficult negotiations were required to resolve the issue of demining the borders with Tajikistan. President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev said this during a meeting with voters in Samarkand region on September 24, gazeta.uz reports.
To resolve the issue of border clearance required “painfully difficult negotiations for a year and a half” with the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, the head of the Uzbek state said.
“Before, we had mines on our borders. Then we sat down together, for three hours [вели переговоры]… We immediately solved 99.9 percent of the problems that had not been solved for 20 years. Two peoples should be able to visit each other. There shouldn’t be any mines. We are neighbors, ”Mirziyoyev said.
In March 2018, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan created a working group on mine clearance of the border areas of the two countries.
Engineering barriers and mines on the Tajik-Uzbek border were installed in 2001-2002. Uzbekistan then explained its actions with a desire to protect the territory from militants of illegal armed groups. However, over the past years, civilians have been repeatedly blown up by mines.
According to the National Mine Center of Tajikistan, over 20 years both inside the country and on the border with Uzbekistan, 374 people were killed and 485 were injured when antipersonnel mines were detonated. How many people died directly at the border is not specified.
During demining work, two Tajik sappers were killed and 20 specialists were injured.
The Anadolu Agency’s website publishes in a shortened form . .(HAS).