Presidents Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan, Nursultan Nazarbaev of Kazakhstan, Askar Akaev of Kyrgyzstan and Imomali Rahmonov of Tajikistan met yesterday in Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent in the framework of the Central Asian Union (CAU). The meeting marked the accession of Tajikistan as a full-fledged party to the 1994 agreement on the creation of a common economic space — the fundamental document of the CAU. Until now, Tajikistan had only had observer status with the CAU, and in practice did not take part in its activities. CAU has gathered momentum in recent months.
Akbar Turanjozoda, one of the leaders of the Tajik opposition, attended the Tashkent summit in his new capacity as first deputy prime minister of Tajikistan. His presence — a significant development — reflects the progress achieved in broadening the basis of the Tajik government. However, eight ministerial-level posts representing the opposition’s share in the government are still vacant because Rahmonov and his camp remain reluctant to share political power.
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