DUSHANBE, September 24, 2013, Asia-Plus -- The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) will develop an interstate program to help Tajikistan strengthen control of its common border with Afghanistan.
The decision on this subject was made at a meeting of the CSTO heads of state that took place in Sochi, Russia on September 23.
The meeting participants included the presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Russia as well as the prime minister of Kazakhstan.
According to the Tajik president’s official website, a joint plan to protect Tajikistan’s border with Afghanistan was among major topics of the meeting. This issue was considered in connection with the withdrawal of international coalition forces from Afghanistan in 2014.
Speaking at the meeting, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon noted that recent visit of a group of the CSTO experts to Tajikistan had allowed making headway on the issue of providing adequate military and technical assistance to Tajik border troops for strengthening the Tajik-Afghan stretch of the Organization’s external borders.
The necessity of strengthening the Tajik-Afghan border control is absolutely obvious today, especially against the background of the upcoming withdrawal of international coalition troops from Afghanistan, Tajik leader said.
“The government of republic and its relevant bodies will solve a number of tasks related to strengthening the Tajik-Afghan border. Among these tasks are constructing new buildings of frontier posts, restoring warning and signaling systems and providing border troops with means of air patrol and surveillance as well as radar aids,” Rahmon said.
Russia’s RIA Novosti reports that Putin said on Monday in Sochi that the CSTO members will develop an interstate program to help Tajikistan strengthen its border with Afghanistan.
“We will take into account all possible development scenarios, take preventive measures, and provide additional collective assistance to Tajikistan to reinforce its national border with Afghanistan,” Putin told journalists Monday after a CSTO Council meeting.
“We agreed to draft a targeted interstate program for equipping this section of the border,” Russian president said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalists that members are “unanimous” in supporting “peaceful political means” for resolving the Syrian conflict.
In his remarks, Putin warned against the spread of terrorism from one country to another and expressed concern that militants from Syria or Afghanistan could infiltrate CSTO countries.
CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha reportedly said on Monday that CSTO members will provide Tajikistan with armaments and military hardware for free to help the country guard its border with Afghanistan.
According to Russian media sources, the CSTO members issued a statement expressing concern about the situation in Syria.
A meeting of CSTO foreign ministers, defense ministers, and security council secretaries in Sochi adopted a statement September 23 saying its members “advocate efforts to achieve peace, stability, prosperity, and progress in Syria.”
The regional security organization was initially set up in 1992 in a meeting in Tashkent and Uzbekistan once already suspended its membership in 1999. However, Tashkent returned to the CSTO again in 2006 The regional security organization was initially formed in 1992 for a five-year period by the members of the CIS Collective Security Treaty (CST) -- Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, which were joined by Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Belarus the following year. A 1994 treaty reaffirmed the desire of all participating states to abstain from the use or threat of force, and prevented signatories from joining any “other military alliances or other groups of states” directed against members states. The CST was then extended for another five-year term in April 1999, and was signed by the presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan. In October 2002, the group was renamed as the CSTO. Uzbekistan that suspended its membership in 1999 returned to the CSTO again in 2006 after it came under international criticism for its brutal crackdown of antigovernment demonstrations in the eastern city of Andijon in May 2005. On June 28, 2012, Uzbekistan announced that it has suspended its membership of the CSTO, saying the organization ignores Uzbekistan and does not consider its views. The CSTO is currently an observer organization at the United Nations General Assembly.