Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 161

On his visit to Moscow this week, Tajik prime minister Yahie Azimov met with the leaders of the Tajik "National Revival Bloc," the former prime ministers Abdumalik Abdullajanov, Jamshed Karimov, and Abdujalil Samadov, all resident in Moscow. Russia’s Foreign Ministry mediated the meeting, and the ministry’s spokesman welcomed it afterward. The ex-prime ministers were said to have sharply criticized the Tajik government’s personnel policy of "packing" the government with officials from the Kulyab region. The trio called for new elections in which its "bloc" would participate; offered to join the government-opposition talks; and proposed that the sides to those talks issue a statement on "preserving Tajikistan as a state." The threesome’s chairman, Abdullajanov, addressed Tajik president Imomali Rahmonov and opposition chairman Saidabdullo Nuri in an open letter, endorsing the Russian proposal for an inter-Tajik summit meeting in Moscow next month and offering the "bloc’s" good offices in sponsoring it. (Nezavisimaya gazeta, Interfax, Itar-Tass, August 26 and 27)

The "National Revival" group, created earlier this month, seeks to represent the interests of the establishment from Leninabad region, Tajikistan’s most developed economically, situated in the northwestern part of the country. Under Soviet rule, officials from that region made up the country’s dominant political clan and supplied most of its leaders. Abdullajanov, one of Tajikistan’s richest men and popular in Leninabad region, aspires to leadership role on behalf of northern Tajiks. Leninabad region initially supported the southern Kulyab clan in the civil war against the predominantly eastern, Pamiri forces of the present opposition; but has lately been signaling strong discontent over Kulyab predominance in government. The three prime ministers’ appear to share concerns that inter-regional conflicts might break the country apart. That concern generated its proposal for a declaration on preserving Tajikistan as a state.

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