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BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom;
Source: Tajik Television first channel, Dushanbe, in Russian 1400 gmt 2 Nov 02
Nov 02, 2002

Tajik head, Aga Khan discuss cooperation, helping Afghan economy

Prince Aga Khan IV arrived in Tajikistan this evening. He was met at Dushanbe airport by Foreign Minister Talbak Nazarov and other officials.

Tajik President Emomali Rahmonov met Prince Aga Khan. It was noted that seven years have passed since Aga Khan's first visit to Tajikistan and that cooperation between Tajikistan and Aga Khan's organization had notably developed over that period, covering various fields.

Rahmonov thanked Aga Khan for support and aid to our country. He praised the cooperation between Tajikistan and Aga Khan's organization, stressing that Tajikistan was for developing and deepening it. The president expressed satisfaction with their joint activities, first of all, in the fields of education, agriculture and power-engineering.

Such long-term projects as the setting up of a Central Asian university in the town of Khorugh [in the eastern Mountainous Badakhshon Autonomous Region, MBAR] and the activities of the telecommunications company Indigo are also very important.

The president believes that the activities of Aga Khan's organization have good prospects in such fields as promoting enterprise and the delegation of material responsibility for micro-crediting in rural areas to local self-governing bodies.

The sides paid particular attention to the current state of cooperation and prospects for it, and the Afghan issue. They shared a common stance on Afghanistan.

Rahmonov thanked Aga Khan's organization for its direct involvement in the construction of the first permanent bridge between Tajikistan and Afghanistan across the border river in the MBAR. He expressed the hope that the planned construction of other bridges between the two countries would be a notable contribution to restoring the Afghan economy. The meeting is continuing.

Source: Tajik Television first channel, Dushanbe, in Russian 1400 gmt 2 Nov 02

BBC Monitoring