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7 months ago

Diplomatic World_nummer 56.

INTERVIEW WITH H.E.

INTERVIEW WITH H.E. ERKINKHON RAHMATULLOZODA AMBASSADOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF TA JIKISTAN The realization of the New Silk Road project could foster a role model that has been played by the ancient Silk Road, where people were involved not only in trade but also in cultural, intellectual, educational, and religious exchanges. Mr. Ambassador, On November 10, 2017, the EU High Representative and foreign ministers of Central Asian countries, including Tajikistan gathered in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) for a new regional rapprochement. What is the importance of this event for your country? Well, I would like to begin by reminding that a quarter century ago the countries of Central Asia and the European Union embarked on the formation and development of their relations based on the principles of mutual respect and trust to each other. of Tajikistan, to improve the well-being of the people of the country. This document identifies the role of foreign partners’ significance in the implementation of the NDS. Tajikistan expects that foreign partners will increase their contribution to the priority areas of the Strategy. Therefore, Tajikistan considers strong regional and international ties as the main factor to impact the socioeconomic development of our region as whole, and each country individually. Since then, the countries of Central Asia and the EU have experienced different stages of cooperation, however, the Samarkand meeting expressed the sides’ intention to jumpstart their relations and give them the attention they deserve. The Central Asian countries’ vision to leverage their potential for drastic transformation and the EU’s strong interest in stable and economically prosperous regions are the factors that drive both sides towards the completion of common tasks. The importance of this event for Tajikistan was the affirmation of a strong willingness of all participants to pursue and enhance further regional and bilateral cooperation. We consider this political development as an important element in our relations and believe that a comprehensive and enhanced partnership between the EU and the countries of Central Asia will positively impact the regional prosperity. 36 My Government has developed the National Development Strategy-2030, which covers all aspects of the development H.E. Erkinkhon Rahmatullozoda

© Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan This platform is supposed to assist Central Asian countries in gaining better benefits from China’s New Silk Road initiative. What does Tajikistan expect from the New Silk Road? You know well that more than 2.000 years ago the Silk Road was established to link China to the Middle East and Europe through Central Asia. The New Silk Road initiative is supposed to be a modern equivalent, aiming to create a network of economic, trade and policy cooperation. Thus, Central Asia has preserved its historical importance as a bridge between China and Europe. Moreover, in the recent years, the region has been a zone of close attention of the world community and business structures, which undoubtedly is a positive thing. Several megaprojects have been launched from China to Europe with the involvement of Central Asian states, which include new roads, railroads and pipelines. Taking into account the above mentioned points, cooperation between the countries of the region and the EU on this platform can help make the development of Central Asia more effective. Our leadership attaches great importance to the modern economic integration processes, therefore, comprehensive cooperation with the countries of Central Asia, the EU and China is a strategic goal of my Government. Tajikistan regards the New Silk Road as a promising initiative for mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields. The introduced projects will facilitate economic transformation, offering multiple benefits to our societies. Tajikistan can serve as a transit nation in China’s projects and benefit from it. The construction of the Tajik section of the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline is a vivid example. China has already started, and completed a number of the New Silk Road projects in Tajikistan and we expect significant Chinese investment into our infrastructure projects. Can it again help flourish not only commerce, but also culture and dialogue of civilizations in Eurasia? History, culture, and spiritual values as well as centuries-old traditions are the basic principles of nations, and they play a vital role in development of countries. Such a role has been played by the ancient Silk Road, where people were involved not only in trade but also in cultural, intellectual, educational, and religious exchanges. The Central Asian intellectuals had played a key role in the development of world nations. The great poet Abu Abdullah Rudaki, philosopher and mathematician Al-Farabi, the greatest scholar 37