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Источник изображения: ИА "Авеста"

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id: 73307

date: 8/1/2006 12:12

refid: 06DUSHANBE1464

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: CONFIDENTIAL

destination:

header:

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----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DUSHANBE 001464

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/RUS, EUR/CARC, PM, S/P

E.O. 12958: DECL:  8/1/2016

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, MARR, GG, RS, TI

SUBJECT: OLD-GUARD TAJIK MINISTER OF DEFENSE OBSESSES ON NATO,

GEORGIA

DUSHANBE 00001464  001.2 OF 002

CLASSIFIED BY: Richard E. Hoagland, Ambassador, Embassy

Dushanbe, State Department.

REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1.  (C) SUMMARY:  The Ambassador endured a three-hour-plus

one-on-one lunch August 1 with Tajikistan's Minister of Defense

Sherali Khairulloyev.  Apart from the general conversation, the

minister apologized for previous mil-mil relations that didn't

meet expectations; harped repeatedly on NATO, Georgia, and

Saakashvili; and asserted the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

must become a military bloc to face down NATO.  By the end of

the alcohol-sodden lunch, the minister was slurring and unsteady

on his feet.  We suspect President Rahmonov ordered the minister

to host this farewell lunch.  While it was rather unusual in

many respects, we believe it helped place another brick in the

wall of U.S.-Tajikistan military relations.  END SUMMARY

2.  (C) Defense Minister Khairulloyev apologized several times

for "misunderstandings and missed opportunities" in the past in

U.S.-Tajik military relations.  He asserted repeatedly that he

expects an increasingly smooth and productive relationship.  He

said he has come to understand Tajikistan must have a number of

equal partners, not just one [Russia], if it is to propser.

3.  (C) Minister Khairulloyev returned several times to NATO and

Georgia.  He repeatedly asked, "Why does NATO want a country

like Georgia?  Even the Warsaw Pact didn't subsume losers!"  He

asked if NATO will improve Georgia's "hopeless" economy.  He

asked why the United States "indulges the adolescent" President

Saakashvili.  The only possibly explanation, he asserted, is to

"stick your finger in Moscow's eye."  He added, "When Stalin

created the Georgian Socialist Republic, he threw in Abkhazia

and South Ossetia because Georgians on their own were a `fly

speck.'  Without Abhkazia and South Ossetia," he alleged,

"Georgia has no hope of existing."

4.  (C) Khairulloyev volunteered that the Shanghai Cooperation

Organization (SCO) has to develop to become a military bloc

"with one-third of the world's population" to face down NATO.

The Ambassador asked why Russia and the former Soviet republics

view NATO as an enemy.  Khairulloyev hoisted himself up and

declared, "When the Warsaw Bloc disintergrated, of course a new

bloc emerged for world domination.  That's the historical

dialectic.  It's now time to confront NATO."

COLOR

5.  (C) This lunch took place in Minister Khairulloyev's private

dining room off his recently renovated private office.  He

emphasized that he seldom receives guests in his private office

and, especially, that only one other ambassador had ever dined

in his private dining room - former Russian Ambassador Maksim

Peshkov.

6.  (C) The Ambassador lost track of the toasts after the tenth.

 His shot-glass held vodka.  The minister's high-ball glass was

kept filled with un-cut Scotch.  Late into the lunch, the

minister was slurring badly and was not walking a straight line.

 Nevertheless, as the Ambassador kept attempting a gracious

retreat, the Minister insisted on showing him "secret rooms" in

the ministry.  Each "secret room" was merely another public

conference room with a large fresh flower display and - again

and again - another round of toasts set out.

COMMENT

6.  (C) This bizarre event was curious, because U.S.-Tajik

military relations have incrementally been improving, especially

with the National Guard, but also with the Russia-centric

Ministry of Defense.  Khairulloyev continues to make clear he

DUSHANBE 00001464  002.2 OF 002

serves at the pleasure of President Rahmonov and may be replaced

after the November presidential election.  Although this

drunk-fest is how many old-guard former Soviets do mutual

business, it was most unusual for an American guest.  It was, to

a degree, a mark of respect.  We would not be surprised if

President Rahmonov had ordered Khairulloyev to "do something for

the departing Ambassador," and we rather wonder if this may have

been a sort of valedictory by an old-guard security minister who

suspects his days of service are numbered.  Whatever, we were

pleased to have drunk Khairulloyev well under the table.  END

COMMENT.

HOAGLAND

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 73317

date: 8/1/2006 13:05

refid: 06DUSHANBE1465

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED

destination:

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----------------- header ends ----------------

UNCLAS DUSHANBE 001465

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/ACE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, EAID, TI

SUBJECT: TAJIKISTAN: U.S. EMBASSY PROVIDES ASSISTANCE TO EARTHQUAKE

VICTIMS

1.  Two earthquakes, ranging from 5.0 to 6.0 on the Richter

scale, struck southern Tajikistan's Qumsangir district July 29.

The earthquakes affected over 1,600 households and nearly 9,000

people.  Officially, three deaths were reported, all of them

children.  The media reported approximately 20 people injured

and hundreds left homeless.  The entire village of Zamini Nav

comprised of 167 homes was completely destroyed.  Up to 400

mud-brick homes in the region were leveled.  In addition, power

lines running through the region are also down and roads

suffered heavy damage.

2.  PolOff received a phone call from Counterpart Humanitarian

Assistance Program (CHAP) July 30 informing of the disaster and

the Ministry of Emergency Situations' requests for Embassy

assistance.   Post immediately agreed to distribute over $24,000

worth of relief items corresponding to CHAP's needs assessment.

Relief items, including medical supplies, blankets, water jugs,

clothing and other household items, were dispatched through CHAP

to the region for distribution to those in need.  Earlier this

year, EUR/ACE provided Post with ten containers filled with

medical equipment for disaster relief to be used for quick

dispersal in such emergency situations.

3.  Thus far, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the

International Committee of the Red Cross and the U.S. Embassy

are the only donors to provide equipment such as tents, bedding,

medical supplies and thirty tons of food.  The Tajik government

sent in medical teams and 170 servicemen to assist with the

relief effort.  EmbOffs attended a donors meeting convened by

Deputy Prime Minister Ghulomov July 31 to garner international

humanitarian assistance.  President Rahmonov asked the Deputy

Prime Minister himself to a spearhead a commission of various

Ministries to immediately assist the injured and homeless.

Scorching weather, consistently above 40 degrees centigrade,

lack of drinking water and power, and the high probability of

diseases spreading are priority concerns.

4.  COMMENT:  Post will continue to cooperate with the

government and other international organizations to provide

assistance as needed.  Post greatly thanks EUR/ACE for the

foresight and supplies provisioned earlier this year.  Without

the Department's shipment of medical equipment, the Embassy

would not have been able to act so quickly to help the Tajik

people.  END COMMENT.

HOAGLAND

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 73452

date: 8/2/2006 11:27

refid: 06DUSHANBE1469

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: CONFIDENTIAL

destination: 06Dushanbe1434|06Tashkent1486

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RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 9585

----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DUSHANBE 001469

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN

EMBASSY MANILA: PLEASE PASS TO ADB AMBASSADOR SPELTZ

E.O. 12958: DECL:  8/2/2016

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, ECON, ENRG, TI, AF, IR

SUBJECT: THREE "IRAN-FREE" STEPS TO BRING TAJIKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN

CLOSER

REF: A) Dushanbe 1434  B) Tashkent 1486

CLASSIFIED BY: Richard Hoagland, Ambassador, U.S. Embassy,

Dushanbe, State.

REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1.  (C)  The "Persian Language Summit" in Dushanbe July 26

highlighted the cultural and linguistic ties between

Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Iran, but also provided an

opportunity for the three presidents to declare publicly their

economic and energy ties (Reftel A).  At the close of the press

conference, the Afghan and Iranian leaders expressed their moral

support for President Rahmonov's favorite mega-project,

Dhasti-Jhum, the proposed 4000 KW hydropower project on the

Pyanj River between Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

2.  (C)  While enthusiasm comes at no cost, the mere mention of

Dhasti-jhum in this tri-lateral context shows the Tajiks'

determination to find support for this project and others on the

Afghan-Tajik border.  Whether Iran (or Russia) helps them

realize their hydropower plans will depend largely on whether

other countries step up to the plate first.  The recent $600

million concessional credit agreement with China clearly

demonstrates that Tajikistan remains open to any and all

investors, particularly in the infrastructure and energy

sectors.

3.  (C)  Despite the Tajik political hype, outside experts

confirm Dhasti-Jhum has enormous potential for power and

irrigation: up to 4000 MW electricity for Tajikistan,

Afghanistan and South Asia; new agricultural areas with

increased irrigation; and better managed flood plains.  But it

will take more than political will to make these benefits real.

Dhasti-Jhum, the largest of thirteen potential projects on the

Pyanj, can only be developed as a public-private partnership on

a cost recovery basis -- not through donations.

4.  (C)  We may have a real opportunity here to practice

transformational diplomacy.  Just as the U.S.-funded

construction of the bridge at Nizhniy Pyanj between Afghanistan

and Tajikistan has become a concrete symbol for U.S. commitment

to promote South and Central Asian integration, so would

increased engagement in Pyanj River water and energy issues

demonstrate that Tajikistan and Afghanistan can further

strengthen their ties directly, without the involvement of Iran.

5.  (C)  The United States could play a leadership role, through

diplomacy and development, by supporting the following three

steps:

-- Formulating and funding a feasibility study of a hydropower

station at Dhasti-Jhum.  The Tajiks have long shopped around the

idea of Dhasti-Jhum, but their plans are largely based on Soviet

studies.  Recent U.S. experts visiting the site concluded the

project does indeed have merit and looked much more promising

than they had expected after reviewing the old Soviet papers.

Nothing would convince Tajikistan of our commitment to regional

stability and Tajik hydropower more than helping them flesh out

the details of this project.  We cannot provide $600 million in

low interest loans -- but we could afford to help with the

initial studies on their flagship project.

-- Supporting a Bilateral Tajik-Afghan Committee for Energy

issues.  The Afghans and Tajiks have already met on energy

issues in April, December 2005 and May 2006 (in Istanbul), and

signed various memoranda for joint cooperative agreement in the

energy sector.  (By contrast, Ref B reports a bumpier energy

DUSHANBE 00001469  002 OF 002

relationship between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.)  We should

encourage Tajik and Afghan authorities to establish a

functioning working body that will discuss power issues and make

agreements that stick.

-- Activating the Bi-national Commission on the Joint

Development of Water Resources, as per the 1958 treaty between

Afghanistan and the Soviet Union.  This bilateral commission

would be the first step in resolving water management issues.

A working level delegation from the Afghan Ministry of Water

will visit Dushanbe August 2-9, thanks to the coordinated

efforts of Embassies Dushanbe and Kabul.  This visit should

start an ongoing Tajik-Afghan dialogue about water issues and

shared resources, and may lead to activation of the Commission.

6.  (C)  The United States has already been actively developing

regional energy networks, through the U.S. Trade and Development

Agency's June Istanbul conference "Energy Without Borders" and

USAID's Regional Energy Market Assistance Program.  But more can

be done.  The three steps above represent concrete and

confidence-building actions.  Only by high-profile engagement on

issues important to the Tajik and Afghan governments can the

United States prove itself as an alternative-and less demanding

partner-than Iran.

HOAGLAND

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 73471

date: 8/2/2006 12:33

refid: 06DUSHANBE1470

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: CONFIDENTIAL

destination:

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ZNY CCCCC ZZH

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RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 9587

----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DUSHANBE 001470

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL

E.O. 12958: DECL:  8/2/2016

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PHUM, KDEM, TI

SUBJECT: TAJIKISTAN'S POLITICAL PARTIES CONSIDER BOYCOTTING ELECTION

CLASSIFIED BY: Richard Hoagland, Ambassador, U.S. Embassy,

Dushanbe, State.

REASON: 1.4 (d)

1.  (C)  SUMMARY:  The three main opposition political parties

are considering boycotting Tajikistan's presidential election as

a statement of protest.  Knowing Rahmonov will win handily and

worried legitimate opposition candidates may not even have a

chance to run, the Democratic Party of Tajikistan (DPT), the

Social-Democratic Party of Tajikistan (SDPT) and the Islamic

Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) have all told EmbOffs

they may boycott the election.  In a series of meetings with

EmbOffs July 27-28, deputy chairmen from the three parties

discussed how each party will gear up for the election, or not

take action, in the absence of their chairmen.  The Chairman of

the IRPT is still seriously ill, the Chairman of the SDPT is in

Switzerland seeking treatment for a stroke and the DPT's

Iskandarov remains in detention; although he may be called to

Moscow as a witness in his kidnapping trial.  END SUMMARY.

IRPT'S NURI INCREASINGLY ILL

2.  (C)  Said Abdullo Nuri, Chairman of IRPT, returned to

Dushanbe July 26 from Germany, where he was undergoing treatment

for cancer.  According to Muhiddin Kabiri, Deputy Chairman of

the IRPT, Nuri's health is deteriorating rapidly.  The party's

presidium is seriously concerned and has relocated its

headquarters to Nuri's home and asked Kabiri to cancel a trip

abroad.

3.  (C)  Kabiri had planned to meet with political parties in

the UAE and Turkey to seek financial and political support.

When asked about the IRPT's relations with Iran, Kabiri noted

that the during President Ahmadinejad's visit to Tajikistan July

25-27, the IRPT did not meet with anyone from the visiting

delegation.  Kabiri observed that as Iran's relations with the

government of Tajikistan improve, the IRPT's relationship with

Iran has waned.  Kabiri stressed sincere regret at not being

able to meet with the Iranians.  (NOTE:  During the Tajik civil

war, the Iranians and Afghans backed the IRPT, but Iran has

since ceased assistance to the party.  END NOTE.)

4.  (C) In a recent poll by a local media outlet, Kabiri was

voted as the chief rival to Rahmonov in the presidential

election.  However, Kabiri remains insistent he will not run,

and instead predicts that his party will nominate a more

conservative candidate.  IRPT make-up is about 80%

conservatives-- those adhering to more traditional Islamic

values and customs and 20% liberals-- those, who like Kabiri,

are moderate and do not strictly follow rules such as wearing a

beard or praying five times a day.  Despite the distinction

between conservatives and liberals, he insists that the IRPT

remains united. (COMMENT:  The decision to run a conservative

candidate may be driven by Rahmonov's expressed desire to see a

more conservative Muslim lead the IRPT.  With a conservative

leading the IRPT, Rahmonov has better leverage potentially to

label the IRPT as an extremist religious group to his political

advantage.  END COMMENT.)

5.  (C)  Despite criticisms that the IRPT is aligned with the

government, Kabiri emphatically stated, "In any case, we would

not support the candidacy of Rahmonov."  If the IRPT is unable

to register a candidate due to corrupt bureaucratic practices

and technicalities, the party would either boycott the election

or declare a neutral position.

DPT'S ISKANDAROV STILL IN TAJIK DETENTION, BUT MAY RETURN TO

MOSCOW

6.  (C)  DPT Deputy Chairman, Rahmatullo Valiev, informed PolOff

that a Moscow regional court in Russia has stated that

DUSHANBE 00001470  002 OF 002

Iskandarov should come back to Moscow as a witness in his own

kidnapping trial.  Iskandarov's relatives opened a criminal case

in Russia's Karalova city charging that Russian law enforcement

authorities kidnapped Iskandarov and illegally extradited him to

Tajikistan.  According to Valiev, the Karalova court agreed with

the General Prosecutor's office that Iskandarov's return to

Tajikistan was not illegal, but the Moscow regional court,

overriding the decision, said Iskandarov should be called back

to Moscow to testify and start an investigation.  On July 31 the

Karalova city court rejected the higher court's decision and

refused to call Iskandarov back to Russia to testify.

Iskandarov's lawyer will once again appeal to the higher Moscow

regional court.  Iskandarov alleged that he was illegally

kidnapped to Tajikistan while in Moscow to stand trial for a

variety of crimes for which he has been sentenced to 23 years in

prison.  (COMMENT:  It is unlikely that President Rahmonov would

allow Iskandarov to return to Moscow prior to the election. END

COMMENT)

7.  (C)  Valiev, as in every meeting with U.S. officials,

expressed great dissatisfaction in the election process and

blamed the U.S. Embassy as well as the OSCE, UN, IFES and other

international organizations for being complacent and not acting

to improve Tajikistan's flawed election process.  He also

accused those organizations of working too closely with the

government.  (COMMENT:  The U.S. Embassy and IFES have taken an

inclusive approach towards reforming the election process and

elections legislation.  At every step of the way, they have

included political parties as well as the Central Committee for

Election and Referenda.  END COMMENT.)

SDPT'S ZOYIROV SEEKING TREATMENT IN SWITZERLAND

8.  (C)  Rahmatullo Zoyirov, the Chairman of the SDPT, is

currently in Switzerland undergoing medical exams and seeking

treatment for his recent stroke.  It is unclear when he will

return to Dushanbe, but Deputy Chairman Amniyat Abdunazarov said

that Zoyirov's health is improving.

9.  (C)  The SDPT, a party of intelligentsia led by the

country's premier lawyer and a drafter of the constitution,

stands firmly behind its position that Rahmonov is an illegal

president and he cannot constitutionally run in the presidential

election.  The SDPT knows well that any candidate it puts forth

will not be registered.  The party is considering boycotting the

election to make a statement.  By participating in the election,

it believes it would legitimize Rahmonov as president.

9.  (C)  COMMENT:  The political parties are realistically

resigned to the fact that Rahmonov will win the presidential

election.  They also know that they will most likely not be able

to register legitimate candidates in the race.  With the

exception of the IRPT, the parties have based their platform on

decrying the president and the unfair process rather than

building a platform of ideological opinions, concrete changes

and services to appeal to the people.  END COMMENT.

HOAGLAND

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 73729

date: 8/4/2006 11:51

refid: 06DUSHANBE1498

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

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----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L DUSHANBE 001498

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL

E.O. 12958: DECL:  8/4/2016

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PHUM, TI

SUBJECT: RADIO SILENCE CONTINUES FOR BBC IN TAJIKISTAN

REF: DUSHANBE 304

CLASSIFIED BY: Tom Hushek, CdA, U.S. Embassy, Dushanbe, State.

REASON: 1.4 (d)

1.  (SBU)  Tajikistan's State Radio and Television Committee

(SRTC) announced August 2 it refused to give BBC a license to

broadcast in Tajiki/ Farsi on FM radio.  Margaret Belof, the

British DCM, told PolOff August 3 the committee based its

refusal on two grounds: the BBC is still not properly registered

with the Ministry of Justice, and no agreement exists between

the Tajik and British governments on television and radio

broadcasting.

2.  (SBU)  The Tajik government stopped BBC broadcasts in

January due to registration problems (reftel).  The MOJ

reregistered BBC June 26, but BBC needs to obtain a new

broadcasting license from the SRTC.  Belof did not go into the

details of the registration issue, stating only that, "We think

they are wrong-all the papers are in order and BBC is now

legally registered."

3.  (C) First Deputy Head of SRTC Abdurakhmon Abdumannonov told

media sources, "According to the Tajik media law  (passed in

November 2005), no foreign radio station has the right to

broadcast on the territory of Tajikistan without the

corresponding intergovernmental or interstate agreement."  Belof

observed that Great Britain has no intergovernmental

broadcasting agreements with any other country in the world, nor

do other counties usually make these kinds of agreements. "Only

Russia has this agreement with Tajikistan," she noted, and the

conditions of the Russian agreement would be impossible for BBC

to accept.

4.  (C)  Belof commented that Tajik authorities still did not

understand that BBC is not a state-owned branch of the British

government, but an independent news service.  The British

Embassy is drafting a memorandum of understanding, explaining

the special status of the BBC.  (COMMENT:  The BBC's decision to

push for a MOU seems only one step away from an official

agreement with the Tajik government, and may be a very

legalistic way around the law. END COMMENT.)  Belof suggested

that if working level BBC representatives could not reach an

agreement with the Tajik government, the Director of BBC World

Service would travel to Tajikistan to continue talks. The BBC is

still broadcasting on shortwave radio.

5.  (SBU) COMMENT:  Tajikistan doesn't make it easy for any

radio or TV stations to broadcast.  The dual requirements of

registration and licensing have dramatically slowed several

U.S.-funded community radio and television projects.  As a

result, most Tajik audiences are stuck watching Tajik state

television or listening to state radio, if not watching Russian

stations on satellite.  However, the situation with BBC suggests

Tajik authorities are increasingly fearful of any outside or

independent broadcasts, and will use all means, often disguised

as any reason possible bureaucratic formalities, to control

content on the airwaves.  At a time when the United States is

pressing Tajikistan for freer media for opposition candidates

leading up the November Presidential election, it seems unlikely

the environment is going to improve.  END COMMENT.

HUSHEK

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 74034

date: 8/8/2006 9:36

refid: 06DUSHANBE1512

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED

destination: 06DUSHANBE1512|06KABUL1629

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----------------- header ends ----------------

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DUSHANBE 001512

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE. NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION.

REL NATO/AUST/NZ/ISAF

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, ECON, ETRD, BEXP, AF, TJ

SUBJECT: BUILD MORE BRIDGES! AFGHAN BUSINESSMEN VISIT DUSHANBE

REF: KABUL 1629

DUSHANBE 00001512  001.2 OF 002

1.  "You can select your friends, but not your neighbors," said

Sharif Saidov, Tajikistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Chairman (TCCI).  "If your neighbor is calm, then you are

calmer."  The August 3 visit of Afghan businessmen to Dushanbe

underscored the calm on both sides of the border and the

potential for greatly expanded commercial relations.  Four

businessmen and two officials from the Department of Foreign

Affairs in Kunduz, accompanied by the U.S. PRT officer and FSN

in Kunduz, came north to reciprocate an April 6 visit made by a

Tajik business delegation and EmbOffs (Reftel).  Following on

the heels of the July 27 bilateral summit in Dushanbe, Afghans

and Tajiks participants repeated the comments of Presidents

Rahmonov and Karzai about the bonds of language and culture that

connect their countries, and how trade relations could improve

the prosperity and security of both countries.

2.  "We are not maximizing our potential," noted Saidov, after

welcoming his Afghan "brothers" to their "motherland."

Statistics show Tajik-Afghan trade consists mainly of small

numbers of shuttle traders crossing the border with consumer

goods.  In an hour-long meeting, he proposed more joint

roundtables and exhibitions to stimulate bilateral trade.

Saidov noted that the Tajik parliament had passed a law in 1998

making foreign investment and international trade easier, and

that if Tajikistan developed its hydropower potential, it would

have plenty of electricity to export to Afghanistan. "Tajikistan

has some of the same reconstruction challenges as Afghanistan,"

he observed, describing the declining cotton harvest and

struggling agricultural economy.  "Consider the TCCI your point

of contact in Dushanbe," he offered, handing the visitors an

English-language list of Tajik companies interested in doing

business with the Kunduz representatives.  The Afghan Deputy

Trade Attachi noted that several of the companies on the TCCI

list were already active in Afghanistan, and the Tajik-Afghan

business council had 75 small businesses in Dushanbe.

3.  The Afghan delegation echoed Saidov's comments about peace

leading to economic growth and the need to improve trade. "In

1984, we exported raisins to the Tajik Consumer Union,"

remembered the Head of the Kunduz Chamber of Commerce."  Years

of war had cut the commercial ties, and the economic base

fueling them. "Our goals are now the same: cross border trade."

He and Saidov agreed the U.S.-funded bridge at Nizhniy Pyanj,

due to open in Summer 2007, would dramatically increase the

potential for large scale trade and commerce, but even more

bridges were needed to connect other parts of Afghanistan and

Tajikistan.

4.  In a meeting hosted by the Dushanbe Construction

Association, the lively discussion focused on the practical

aspects of cross-border commerce.  "Can anyone get me 5000 tons

of diesel?" asked a Kunduz plastics producer. "What kind of

banks can we use for transactions? Will a letter of credit

suffice?" asked another businessman.  Given the demand for

reconstruction in Afghanistan, the groups acknowledged the

possibility of construction contracts, "not just one bulldozer,

but a sustained supply of steel, cement and equipment."

5.  However, corruption and bureaucracy on both sides of the

border posed barriers.  Afghans and Tajiks also cited the lack

of a trucking network as slowing trade-each individual driver

and truck owner negotiated his own price.  Both countries have

to import most raw materials, adding to costs.  Tajiks noted the

lack of insurance for vehicles operating in Afghanistan, and

Afghans complained how hard it is to get a Tajik visas.  In

practice, such restrictions can mean goods have to be off-loaded

from Tajik trucks and re-loaded onto Afghan trucks, or vice

versa, costing the traders time and money.  (COMMENT:

International donors have been telling the Tajik government for

years the restrictive, and somewhat arbitrary visa regime

impedes business. END COMMENT.)

6.  After lunch, a visit to a small metal construction workshop

left the Afghans observing that they already produced similar

products in Kunduz, thus eliminating any interest in imports.

(NOTE:  During the April 6 visit in Kunduz, the Tajiks similarly

DUSHANBE 00001512  002.2 OF 002

responded to visits to a flour factory and cotton processing

facility, both of which exist at the same level of capacity and

quality in Dushanbe. END NOTE.)  The groups parted by

reaffirming their potential, and a few businessmen exchanged

contact information with their Tajik counterparts.

7.  The visit was a day trip.  The Afghans departed Kunduz in

the early morning, crossed the temporary bridge at the U.S.

construction site, and arrived in Dushanbe three hours later.

After five hours of meetings, they headed back the same route.

The Afghan delegation included: Haji Abdul Rasul, Chief of

Kunduz Chamber of Commerce and head of Faiaz Ltd (exports and

imports carpet and other goods from Turkey); Mir Agha, head of

Amiri CC (building construction materials imports); Ahmadshah,

Chief of Turk Slayman Ltd, (vehicles and vehicle parts imports

and exports); and Akhtar Mohammad, Nisar Plastic; as well as

Abdul Ghafar Sadid and Said Zamarudin from the Department of

Foreign Affairs in Kunduz.  The Construction Association was

represented by several Dushanbe constructions firms, including

Sangreza Ltd, whose owner, Saobiddin Zayniddinov, participated

in the April 6 trip to Kunduz and has been particularly eager to

help set up trade in construction materials and aggregates.

8.  COMMENT:  It was a small step, but it was forward motion.

This day-long visit not only provided an opportunity for

cross-border networking, but also highlighted how much goodwill

and desire exists on both sides to help each other develop

economically.  The Afghan Embassy retains two commercial

attaches in Dushanbe, and both have enthusiastically embraced

U.S. efforts to promote Afghan-Tajik relations.  Embassy

Dushanbe looks forward to continued cooperation with PRT Kunduz,

as well as the possibility of working with other PRTs looking to

expand local ties with Tajikistan.  END COMMENT.

HUSHEK

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 74227

date: 8/9/2006 13:22

refid: 06DUSHANBE1523

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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----------------- header ends ----------------

UNCLAS DUSHANBE 001523

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/ACE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, EAID, TI

SUBJECT: TAJIKISTAN'S EARTHQUAKE RELIEF STATUS REPORT

REF: DUSHANBE 1465

1.  More than a week after two earthquakes shook Tajikistan's

Qumsangir District in Khatlon province on the southern border

with Afghanistan July 29 (reftel), the Tajik government and

donors continue to help displaced residents.  Under the

leadership of Deputy Prime Minister Ghulomov, the Tajik

government established the National Emergency Commission to

coordinate donor assistance, assess damage, and plan for

reconstruction.  Although the Tajik government has not yet

officially declared the region a disaster area, President

Rahmonov has made several calls to international organizations

and wealthy Tajiks to provide assistance.

2.  The damage to five settlements in the district is

approximately $22 million, according to the latest data provided

by the United Nations Disaster Risk Management Project.  The

death toll has remained low at three people, but the earthquakes

displaced more than 15,000 people, a higher number than

estimated in the days immediately following the earthquake.

Over 700 homes have been completely destroyed and over 1,200

partially damaged, many of them mud-brick structures common to

Tajikistan's impoverished southern region.

3.  Although the central government, NGOs, and international

missions acted quickly to provide assistance such as temporary

shelter, food, medical aid, and clothing to victims, the

government has called for additional assistance.  Health and

disease prevention concerns authorities, as the earthquakes

destroyed all health service structures according to the UN

report.  Sanitation conditions are poor, access to clean water

is rare and there is a prevalence of malaria in the region.  The

government has requested soap, cleaning disinfectants,

additional water containers, assistance in monitoring and

preventing waterborne diseases, and help in surveillance and

preventing malaria including distribution of mosquito nets.  The

Ministry of Emergency Services reported the food supply

requirements have not been met and also asked for additional

kitchen supplies.

4.  The government has provided 1,200 tons of cement for

reconstruction of homes and promised co-financing to those

involved in rebuilding projects.  An international NGO will

assist in training people how to build homes according to safe

building standards for an earthquake zone.  As a temporary

solution, the government requested an additional 2000 tents for

the homeless.

5.  Through the NGO CHAP, the Embassy provided $24,000 worth of

emergency relief assistance in the form of clothing, sleeping

bags, water containers, and medical supplies immediately after

the earthquakes occurred.  CHAP has verified that our relief

supplies were properly transported and distributed to victims.

Although the earthquakes are responsible for many gaps in

services, the problems the people of southern Tajikistan face

now reflect pre-existing conditions, including the country's

impoverished status, lack of adequate health facilities and poor

water supply system.  Post remains involved in coordination

activities with the government and international community to

ensure that assistance provided will meet the immediate short

term need as well as longer term development goals.

HUSHEK

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 74231

date: 8/9/2006 13:28

refid: 06DUSHANBE1524

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: CONFIDENTIAL

destination: 06DUSHANBE1470

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----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L DUSHANBE 001524

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN

NSC FOR MERKEL, MILLARD

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL:  8/9/2016

TAGS: PGOV, KDEM, KISL, TI

SUBJECT: TAJIKISTAN'S IRPT CHAIRMAN SAID ABDULLO NURI PASSES AWAY

REF: DUSHANBE 1470

CLASSIFIED BY: THUSHEK, CHARGE D'AFFAIRES, STATE, STATE.

REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1.  (U)  The Chairman of the Islamic Renaissance Party, Said

Abdullo Nuri passed away August 9 at approximately 16:30.  Nuri

had been suffering from stomach cancer and his death was not

unexpected.  He had received periodic treatments in Iran and

Germany for over a year and returned to Dushanbe July 26.  The

IRPT suspected he was approaching his final days and relocated

their headquarters to his home (reftel).

2.  (C)  COMMENT:  Nuri's successor is not clear and sources say

that President Rahmonov would prefer the IRPT appoint a more

conservative chairman.  A more conservative Islamic leader would

likely allow Rahmonov to label the IRPT as an extremist group,

potentially alienating the party from the mainstream public and

paving the way for him to consolidate power further. Post will

follow developments in the IRPT closely in the coming days.  END

COMMENT.

HUSHEK

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 74442

date: 8/11/2006 6:33

refid: 06DUSHANBE1545

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: CONFIDENTIAL

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----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 DUSHANBE 001545

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN

NSC FOR MERKEL

E.O. 12958: DECL:  8/11/2016

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, ECON, ENRG, EFIN, TI, AF, IR

SUBJECT: WIIL ROGUN EVER GET BUILT? TAJIKISTAN AND RUSAL ENGAGE IN

WAR OF WORDS

REF: DUSHANBE 326

CLASSIFIED BY: Tom Hushek, Charge d'Affaires, U.S. Embassy,

Dushanbe, State.

REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1.  (C)  SUMMARY:  Is RusAl on the verge of abandoning Rogun, or

merely posturing to hasten its acquisition of Tajik state-owned

aluminum smelter TadAZ?  In the past week, Tajik and regional

news agencies have published several articles on Rogun and other

Russian-Tajik investments, questioning the partnership and

trading accusations from both sides.  Privately, ministers and

others close to President Rahmonov have hinted about Tajik

displeasure with RusAl and its slow start at the Rogun

construction site, with some suggesting Tajikistan will need to

look elsewhere for partners.  Avesta news agency published a

blistering interview in which RusAl's Dushanbe representative

accused Tajik authorities of muddying the waters with the World

Bank, purposefully misinterpreting the words of President Putin,

and begging for financial assistance from the Russian

Government, even though "the times of the State Planning

Committee of the USSR ended long ago."  Fighting words, indeed.

The Tajiks pushed Rogun negotiations to the Intergovernmental

Commission on Russian-Tajik Cooperation, scheduled for

September, as Rogun becomes an important part of the bilateral

relationship.  END SUMMARY.

ROGUN

2.  (U)  At the heart of the growing controversy lies Rogun

power station, a 3600 MW hydropower project on the Vakhsh River.

 Started in the 1980s, the government abandoned the project when

the Soviet Union collapsed, having already invested over $800

million in construction of several tunnels and support

facilities.  Tajikistan estimates another $2.2 billion is needed

to complete the project.  If finished, Rogun could produce 13.1

billion kW/hour of electricity, almost doubling Tajikistan's

current 17.1 kW/h billion per year.

3.  (U)  The Russian aluminum giant RusAl wants to develop Rogun

as a power source for aluminum production in Tajikistan.

TadAZ, the Tajik state-owned smelter, consumes an annual 6.7

billion kW/h, 40% of Tajikistan's total electricity production.

During Russian President Putin's October 2004 visit to Dushanbe,

part of the economic package included RusAl building a second

aluminum smelter in Tajikistan, in exchange for RusAl's getting

controlling interest in Rogun.

4.  (C)  Uzbekistan has been particularly opposed to the Rogun

project, on the grounds that the reservoir will impede water

supplies necessary for irrigating Uzbekistan's cotton fields.

Tajikistan consistently claims the Rogun dam will better

regulate water to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, improve regional

irrigation and even help solve the problems of the Aral Sea.  In

the last six months, RusAl head Oleg Deripaska is rumored to be

spending time in Tashkent, trying to woo the Uzbek leadership

into supporting the project.

IRRESPONSIBLE BUREAUCRATS!

5.  (U)  "Tajik bureaucrats, (I cannot say all of them), hand

out irresponsible interviews during the negotiation process."

In an August 1 interview with Avesta news agency, Konstantine

Zagrebleniy, head of RusAl's Dushanbe office, accused the Tajik

government of bureaucratic delays, of misquoting Putin, and

predetermining the dimensions and scale of the project before

the feasibility study is finished.  In an attempt to clarify

DUSHANBE 00001545  002 OF 003

RusAl's position and defend it against Tajik officials'

insinuations that RusAl had delayed construction, Zagrebleniy

suggested that Tajik authorities were to blame for the delays,

and laid down the challenge that Rogun could not be built

without RusAl.

WHY ALL THE FUSS?

6.  (C)  RusAl and the Tajik government have yet to finalize an

agreement on the structure, financing and ownership of the

project.  Several outstanding issues remain:

--  Ownership:  RusAl and Tajikistan have not yet finalized the

terms of the partnership.  Tajik authorities claim they have

already put at least $800 million into the project, and want 50

percent ownership of a joint venture.  RusAl may try to low-ball

the value of existing structures as a way to minimize Tajik

shares in Rogun.  A Dushanbe World Bank analyst suggested RusAl

valued the existing infrastructure at only $100 million.

Zagrebleniy told Avesta, "While the Tajik side says they already

have a project~ we consider that there is practically no

project.  Half the documentation is simply missing and it does

not exist physically."

--  The feasibility study:  Rogun commissioned the German firm

Lahmeyer to conduct the technical survey of the project and

revise Soviet-era plans, including the type and size of the dam.

 Although Lahmeyer will not complete its study until later in

August, Tajik officials, including the Energy Minister Yerov and

Presidential Center for Strategic Research Director Suhrob

Sharipov, have told PolOff that "Lahmeyer will conclude whatever

RusAl wants, since RusAl is paying the bill."  Fearful that the

Lahmeyer study will disadvantage Tajikistan, the Tajik

authorities have insisted that the World Bank play the role of

independent arbiter.

--  The dam:  Perhaps the biggest sticking point in the project

is the dam's dimensions. The original Soviet plans call for a

330-meter rock and earth dam, which would be the world's

tallest, while RusAl has proposed a shorter 285-meter cement

dam.  The Tajiks point to the 30-year old rock and earth dam at

Nurek, noting how well it has held up despite hundreds of small

earthquakes, and complain that a cement dam will be too

expensive to build and maintain.  If the construction price

rises significantly, their stake in the project will be smaller.

 A smaller dam will also provide less power output.

--  Financing:  Although RusAl's leadership claims Rogun cannot

be built without them, the $2.2 billion investment is too big

for RusAl alone.  The international financial institutions'

current interest in Tajik hydropower is based on production of

electricity for export, while RusAl has clearly stated it

intends to use Rogun's output for domestic aluminum production.

Deputy Foreign Minister Yatimov told PolOff August 1 he thought

the Russian government would step in and help finance the

project, as it had promised to do for the Sangtuda-I hydropower

station, a 670 MW project being built by Russia state utility

RAO UES.  However, Zagrebleniy stated that the Tajiks cannot

expect additional financing from the Russian Federation's

Stabilization fund.  "The times of Gosplan, the USSR State

Planning Committee, are long past," he was quoted. "President

Putin's words on state participation should not be interpreted

as a promise to finance the project from the Russian budget."

(NOTE:  RAO UES is now looking for additional funding for

Sangtuda-I, despite the pledge from the Russian Federation.  END

NOTE.)

SO WILL IT BE BUILT?

DUSHANBE 00001545  003 OF 003

7.  (C)  Tajik officials have quietly suggested other investors

would be welcome in Rogun.  Yerov told PolOff July 16 that Rogun

should be built by the "international consortium" of donors,

investors and private companies formed in Dushanbe in January --

not by RusAl alone. (NOTE:  RusAl was one of the signatories to

the Consortium Agreement, as were AES, RAO UES, the governments

of Tajikistan and Afghanistan, as well as the World Bank, Asian

Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and

Development. END NOTE.)  Sharipov suggested to PolOff July 28

that although RusAl already invested in some infrastructure

improvements to the site, investments from China, Pakistan and

Kazakhstan could force Russia out of the project.  Without such

pressure, Russia and RusAl might drag out the negotiations,

causing "delay after delay." "Russia should have a post-imperial

responsibility to Tajikistan," he opined.  Sharipov, Yerov and

his First Deputy Pulat Mukhiddinov have all individually

predicted that RusAl will use the Lahmeyer study as an excuse to

pull out of Rogun, citing the costs as too high to make aluminum

profitably.

8.  (C)  COMMENT:  Regardless of the outcome of the Lahmeyer

study, building Rogun will cost at least $2 billion.  Without

guaranteed cost recovery from exports, it is doubtful an

international financial institution will want to make that large

an investment, particularly with a partner so closely tied to

the Kremlin like RusAl.  RusAl wants Rogun for aluminum

production, not electricity exports, and without a second

smelter or full control of TadAZ, it may not need or want Rogun

at all.

9.  (C)  COMMENT CON'T: Our best guess: Unless high voltage

transmission lines can reliably export Tajik electricity to

Pakistan or Kazakhstan, Rogun will be too big a gamble for any

single investor, and with RusAl in the driver's seat, too

complicated for a consortium.  END COMMENT.

HUSHEK

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 74472

date: 8/11/2006 10:04

refid: 06DUSHANBE1549

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED

destination: 06DUSHANBE1524|

Источник: ИА "Авеста"
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