As the government of Uzbekistan adds manpower and equipment at border crossings and airports to improve regional security, it is also reaching agreements with neighboring Tajikistan and Kazakhstan to reduce tensions on their shared borders.
Uzbekistan issued a decree in January 2021 that creates civilian border guard detachments to boost the strength of the country’s official border guard troops. The volunteer units will consist of Uzbek citizens ages 18 to 60 who serve on the border a maximum of 30 days a year conducting surveillance and patrols.
Uzbekistan is also upgrading scanning equipment to smooth the passage of travelers. In late 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent finished a project to install more than 100 Rapiscan metal detectors to inspect cargo and baggage at border crossings and airports.
To eliminate border disputes stemming from the days of the former Soviet Union, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are conducting detailed cartographical surveys to demarcate their shared boundaries. The countries agreed to complete negotiations on the 1,322-kilometer border by the end of 2021.
Meanwhile, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are developing a tourist corridor that will connect historical and pilgrimage sites in the two countries. The goal is to ease border crossings by coordinating visa regulations and improving bus and rail connections.
“We have agreed that convenient conditions will be created on the border between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to reduce and simplify border crossing procedures,” Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister Aziz Abdukhakimov said. “A lot of work has been done on the Uzbek side. Currently, Kazakhstan is working on the reconstruction of the Zhibek Zholy post.”
Uzbekistan shares borders with Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
Sources: Ozodlik, Uzbekistan Ministry of Justice, U.S. Department of State, Trend News Agency