In a boost to regional security in Central Asia, Tajikistan’s parliament ratified agreements with Uzbekistan to cooperate on air defense and military intelligence.
The agreements were signed during the official visit to Tajikistan by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in June 2021, but achieved final Tajik approval in December 2021.
In terms of air defense, both countries agreed to share best practices in aviation and air defense, conduct joint training, assist each other’s aircraft in distress, and exchange information about air traffic.
Intelligence-sharing will entail mostly exchanging information about suspected terrorists and religious extremist groups. Information includes terrorists sponsors and accomplices as well as weapons, training camps and terrorist bases.
Tajikistan and Uzbekistan also agreed to warn one another about heightened terrorist threats, including those against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both countries. Aiding cooperation further, the agreement provides for holding joint military exercises for combat and intelligence units.
A third agreement focuses on sharing airspace and airfields, providing a mechanism for aircrews from one country to cross into the other country’s airspace during disasters and emergencies. That agreement is valid for five years.
Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have improved diplomatic and security ties since President Mirziyoyev took office in 2016.
Sources: Asia Plus, Eurasia Daily, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty