On the way from peace building to good neighborliness in the Kyrgyz-Tajik border issue.

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Recently, certain positive moments have been noted in the Kyrgyzstan and the region as a whole regarding one of the key problems of Central Asia – border issues.

In particular, there has been a positive trend in the settlement of the Kyrgyz-Tajik border area.

Of course, it is too early to talk about the final solution of the Kyrgyz-Tajik issue of delimitation and demarcation of borders while maintaining the potential for good neighborly and mutually beneficial cooperation.

However, it can be confidently stated that points of contact were found between the presidents of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in direct communication, namely, an understanding of the futility of resolving this issue from a position of strength.
Perhaps these are the first steps in the history of the independence of the two states, which have a real prospect, as evidenced by the firm political will of both presidents in solving the urgent problem.
It must be said that such a favorable turn, against the background of the confrontation between the parties, was facilitated, on the one hand, by the openness and transparency of the policy of President S. Japarov, appreciated by his Tajik counterpart, on the other hand, by the wisdom and political experience of President E. Rahmon.
It seems that the presidents have identified a priority – the solution of all border issues with the neighboring state and the creation of conditions for the development and strengthening of fraternal relations in the Central Asian region.

Today, there is a certain interest on both sides in a speedy resolution of the situation. The political foresight of the leaders of both states reflects the understanding that such complex conflicts during the period of geopolitical changes in the world and regional order can adversely affect not only the stability of the two countries, but the entire Central Asian region.

It is obvious that the conflict is not complete without the participation of regional and global players. Constructive options and approaches were proposed by partners of the main CSTO member countries, international organizations, as well as the EU states, China, etc. However, the final decision in this matter remains with those interested primarily in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, who need to perceive the border dispute as their common main problem, hindering, first of all, their own development.

It is important to note the fact that the political terrain of the two bordering states, especially in the multimillion-strong Ferghana Valley, is extremely complex and the physical drawing of borders is important, but not decisive. It should be understood that the conflict potential of a border dispute also depends on many other factors.

The leaders of the two countries will need to resolve it in the face of growing environmental troubles (under the conditions of climate pollution and the growing limited access to drinking and irrigation water in the border areas). The parties must take into account transport and logistics and trade and economic interests, problems of the shadow economy and smuggling, ethnic communications in local border communities, as well as other factors and players that directly or indirectly increase or decrease the potential for conflict in the process of resolving a border dispute.

However, despite all the difficulties, the mutual interest and foresight of the presidents of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan inspire optimism and confidence that the long-standing dispute will be resolved on mutually acceptable terms