Developing cooperation with Tajikistan to bar Armenia's non-friends from hostile actions – expert

12:47 • 16.06.17

Armenia's cooperation with Tajikistan, a key country in the Central Asia region, is really very important in terms of economic and political perspectives, an expert in Iranian studies said today, commenting on the Tajik president's recent visit.

Speaking to, Vardan Voskanyan also highlighted the traditionally developing partnership with the country since the Soviet period.

He noted that Armeia relations with Central Asia partners successfully develop in not only the multilateral (in the framework of interstate organizations, i.e. – the Commonealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization) but also the bilateral formats.

President of Tajikistan Emomeli Rahmon was on an official visit to Yerevan from June 15 to 16 (upon the invitation of the Armenian president). It wasn't his first official trip to the country. Apart from a range of working visits, the Tajik leader had another official visit back in 2003.

“Judging by their variety and importance, the documents signed this time covered a wide range of areas which may have their direct imapct in terms of both marking a new phase in internal political relations and recording significant achievements in the economic domain,” he added.

Another major factor which makes the Armenian-Tajik relations really very important is that Tajikistan is an Iranian-speaking Islamic state represented in different Islamic organizations, Voskanyan noted. “Our opportunities with Tajikistan allow us to seriously not only develop relations with similar organizations but also neutralize, in a way, the anti-Armenian actions of Turkey and Azerbaijan, our two neighbors which have adopted a blatantly hostile attitude towards us. The same goes true also for other states collaborating with those countries as satellites,” he said.

Voskanyan agreed that the Armenian authorities’ desire to develop relations with Tajikistan is part of the policy to cooperate with other Islamic states, including the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. In his words, cooperation with Afghanistan would be also advisable given Armenia’s peacekeeping presence in that country and the Afghan people’s pro-Armenian attitude to the Armenians.

“It is very commendable to see a dynamic growth in the [foreign policy] vector shifting to the Middle East and Central Asia. It can only offer benefit to our country,” he said.

Voskanyan dismissed the concerns that Tajikistan may not be a promising partner for Armenia given its authoritarian regime inherited from the Soviet period.

“Tajikistan has significant resources and is among the countries that can offer significant economic opportunities to Armenia, allowing us, first of all, to export the products manufactured here,” he added.

 The expert further highlighted coinciding political interests.

"The two countries often find themselves in a hostile blockade so to speak. So if Turkey seeks to secure its presence in Central Asia, for example, I think Armenia too, can secure its presence through cooperation with Tajikistan. We thus resolve two problems, i.e. - ensure our political, economic and cultural interests by cooperating with Tajikistan and at the same, time restrict the domain for countries that have hostile relations with us,” he added.


Hripsime Hovhannisyan


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