By Shadi Khan Saif
KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) - Afghanistan and Tajikistan, the former Soviet republic in Central Asia, have agreed to enhance security, political and cultural ties, said an official statement on Friday.
During his trip to Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, Afganistan's Acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar met Tajikistan's President Emomali Rahmon, the Afghan Foreign Ministry said. It added the president of Tajikistan expressed support for the Afghan peace process and assured Kabul of Dushanbe’s support.
The two sides also discussed the implementation of infrastructure projects, trade and transit development, energy transfer and the fight against terrorism and extremism, beside controlling organized crime, strengthening cross-border cooperation, expanding cultural and trade ties and the training of Afghan professionals, the statement said.
According to the ministry, Kabul and Dushanbe also agreed to prepare and ink a Strategic Partnership Agreement between the two neighboring countries.
It is significant to note some 7,000 Russian troops are stationed in Tajikistan till 2042 as per a deal between Moscow and Dushanbe aimed at providing security to the former Soviet state against militancy or spillover impacts considering the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan.