Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 44

Iran announced yesterday an intensification of its consultations with Russia and the Tajik regime in promoting a political settlement of the Tajikistan conflict. Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati said in Dushanbe that Iran shares Russia’s aim of maintaining stability in Central Asia, and that Moscow and Tehran have compatible views about resolving the Tajik crisis. In his talks February 28 and 29 with Tajikistan’s leaders, Velayati supported the opposition’s conditions for a three-month extension of the expired cease-fire. Velayati also confirmed the top opposition leaders’ refusal to address the Dushanbe parliament’s special session scheduled for March 11. He is scheduled to carry Tehran’s set of proposals to Moscow next week. (10)

The UN-mediated inter-Tajik negotiations broke down February 17 and the oft-violated cease-fire expired February 26. The Dushanbe authorities and Moscow want an unconditional resumption of the talks and an open-ended extension of the cease-fire for the talks’ duration. That arrangement would amount to immunity for Dushanbe and its Russian protectors while removing the incentives for them to negotiate toward power sharing. The March 11 parliamentary session had been offered as a public relations substitute for meaningful discussions on power sharing.

Drug Trafficking in Central Asia Surveyed.