A state visit of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Tajikistan, which is scheduled for the next month, is expected to result in signing of more than twenty new cooperation documents, a source in the Tajik government told Asia-Plus in an interview.

The most important of them are agreements on visa-free travel and other border-crossing measures as well as delimitation and demarcation of mutual border. 

Recall, issues related to easing visa restrictions and progressing on a contentious section of the mutual border were discussed during Uzbek prime minister’s visit to Dushanbe last month.

The new border regulations allow Tajik citizens to visit Uzbekistan and Uzbek citizens to visit Tajikistan without visas for up to 30 days.

Besides, an agreement on providing a preferential loan of 100 million USD to Tajikistan is also expected to be signed during Uzbek president’s visit. 

The loan is reportedly aimed at supporting Tajik entrepreneurs doing business with Uzbekistan

The sides will also sign cooperation agreements in the fields of communication and transportation, the source added.  

A conference of representatives of business communities of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will take place on the sidelines of Mirziyoyev’s visit to Dushanbe. 

According to data of the State Committee for Statistics, a two-way trade between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan last year valued at US$126 million.  This consisted of Tajikistan’s exports to Uzbekistan estimated at US$57 million and Tajikistan’s imports from Uzbekistan worth US$69 million. 

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, ties between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have often been tense due to disagreements on issues including borders, water, energy resources, and transit routes.

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.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev told lawmakers in the Tashkent region on January 6 that important bilateral agreements would be signed during his visit to Tajikistan.  “We will sign many agreements on cooperation in the railway and energy spheres.  We will also be considering many other issues,” he said.