Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have decided to postpone the next meeting of the joint intergovernmental commission for trade and economic cooperation.  The nations have reportedly decided to postpone the meeting as there are no unresolved issues to be discussed.  

“The meeting scheduled for mid-December this year has been adjourned until the end of the first quarter of the next year,” the reliable source in the Tajik government told Asia-Plus in an interview.

“The sides have decided to postpone the meeting as there are no unresolved issues to be discussed between the two countries.  Cooperation between the two nations has been dynamically expanding in all areas,” the source added.

According to data from the Agency for Statistics under the Government of Tajikistan, a two-way trade between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in January-September this year has valued at 218 million U.S. dollars, which was 2.4 times more than in the same period last year.  This consisted of Tajikistan’s exports to Uzbekistan estimated at more than 126.6 million U.S. dollars and Tajikistan’s imports from Uzbekistan worth 91.7 million U.S. dollars.           

The two nations have accumulated many problems after collapse of the Soviet Union.  These problems caused the countries' relations to go into a deep freeze two decades ago, including disputes over water and borders.  The two countries had had the worst bilateral relations in Central Asia.

Relations between the countries have become warmer after Shavkat Mirziyoyev came to power in Uzbekistan in 2016.  Mirziyoyev has said that improving ties with Central Asian nations is a major priority of Uzbekistan’s foreign policy.

Emomali Rahmon and Shavkat Mirziyoyev have met several times since September 2016 and in March 2018, Mirziyoyev made an historic visit to Dushanbe, where 27 bilateral agreements were signed in the fields of trade, economy, investment, finance, transport and transit, agriculture, water and energy, taxes, customs, tourism, education and science, health, culture, interregional cooperation, in the field of security and countering crime.  One of the agreements signed in Dushanbe on March 9 this year after the negotiations was a deal enabling nationals of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to visit each other’s countries for up to 30 days without obtaining visa

Earlier in April this year, Uzbekistan's national airline resumed flights from Tashkent to Dushanbe after a hiatus of some 25 years.  The air communication between Dushanbe and Tashkent was cut off in 1992 at Tashkent’s initiative and the issue of resumption of the direct air communication between the two countries has been raised at meetings between state officials of the two countries more than once.

27 bilateral governmental agreements addressing bilateral cooperation between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in industry, education, border security, agriculture and much else were signed during President’s Rahmon’s state visit to Uzbekistan in August this year.