Major checkpoint on Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan border reopened

BISHKEK (TCA) — Kyrgyzstan’s Deputy Prime Minister Duishenbek Zilaliev and Governor of Uzbekistan’s Andijon region, Shuhratbek Abdurakhmanov, as well as thousands of local residents on September 6 attended the reopening ceremony of a major checkpoint along the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reported.

Zilaliev and Abdurakhmanov said in their addresses that the Dostuk (Friendship) checkpoint reopened after a deal was reached between the two countries during Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s official two-day trip to Kyrgyzstan, which ended earlier on September 6.

“In just several days, people on both sides will be able to cross the border freely,” Abdurakhmanov said.

Zilaliev said that guards on both sides of the border will abandon the old practice under which people were allowed to cross the border only if they had proof from relatives on the other side of the border about urgent or important events where their presence was needed.

Uzbekistan closed 12 out of 15 border crossings with Kyrgyzstan after deadly ethnic clashes in 2010 between local Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in Kyrgyzstan’s Osh and Jalal-Abad regions.

Ties have been improving since Mirziyoyev came to power as acting president in September last year following the death of President Islam Karimov, who had ruled Uzbekistan with an iron fist since the Soviet era. He won a five-year presidential term in December.

Mirziyoyev’s September 5-6 visit was the first official visit of an Uzbek president to Kyrgyzstan since 2000.

During the visit, a bilateral pact on border demarcation was signed.

Mirziyoyev has said his government is ready to invest in the construction of a hydropower station in Kyrgyzstan, a railway between the two countries, and a highway connecting Uzbekistan’s east with China via Kyrgyzstan.

Mirziyoyev also announced Uzbekistan’s plan to build a new school in Kyrgyzstan’s southern Osh region with a large Uzbek community.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

View more articles fromTCA