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    Лента новостей

    22.04.201412:56
    Источник изображения: ИА "Авеста"

    Выпуск-41

    id: 79704

    date: 9/26/2006 11:19

    refid: 06DUSHANBE1758

    origin: Embassy Dushanbe

    classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

    destination: 06DUSHANBE1758

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

    UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DUSHANBE 001758

    SIPDIS

    SENSITIVE

    SIPDIS

    STATE FOR SCA/CEN, INL

    PLEASE PASS TO DOJ

    E.O. 12958: N/A

    TAGS: PGOV, PREL, EAID, SNAR, AF, TI

    SUBJECT: TAJIK BORDER POSTS STILL SUFFER FROM LAST YEAR'S FLOODING

    AND LACK OF SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT

    DUSHANBE 00001758  001.2 OF 002

    1.  (SBU)  Embassy Officers visited four border posts in the

    Moscovsky region bordering Afghanistan and saw how last year's

    severe flooding destroyed the units' buildings, seriously

    hindering the border guards' ability to protect the Tajik border

    from illicit activity.   In addition to flood damage and years

    of wear and tear, the departing Russian border troops stripped

    the posts of critical equipment and supplies.  In the winter, as

    in many rural areas of Tajikistan, electricity is scarce, only

    available one to two hours per day.  Generators at the border

    posts are nothing more than Soviet-style hunks of metal, too

    inefficient to run given the price of fuel.  Minefields

    installed by Russian troops remain active and pose a real threat

    to unsuspecting visitors and civilians. EmbOffs, guided by

    Colonel Kamolov, the State Border Protection Committee engineer

    responsible for designing architectural plans for construction

    of new buildings, surveyed the border posts.  Post will

    recommend that outposts number 8 and 7 described below receive

    priority consideration for renovation/reconstruction using

    existing INL funding.  The rest should be funded using DoD

    Counter-narcotics FY06 supplemental funding.

    RIBHOZ, FISHFARM, #8

    2.  (SBU)  In early 2005, floods from the Pyanj River ripped

    through the outpost and split it into two, destroying training

    facilities.  The water left a bed of rocks about 500 yards wide

    in the middle of the post.  The post evacuated staff and moved

    ammunition, but have since returned to the same location.

    Border guards report that Afghans crossed the border and

    periodically looted the facilities after the 2005 flood up until

    July 2006.  Ribhoz currently has no functioning communications

    system, however, through U.S. government funding, Post will be

    installing Harris radio communications system at the outpost.

    3.  (U)  The Pyanj is known to flood frequently and each year

    the river's destruction takes its toll in property and lives.

    The Asian Development Bank is working with the government on an

    embankment reinforcement project in Moscovsky to prevent future

    flooding, but work is not yet complete.

    4.  (SBU)  The State Border Protection Committee intends to move

    the post's location one to two kilometers further away from the

    river.  Ribhoz is the name of border post number 8 in Moscovsky

    District, so named because of the area's former abundance of

    fish farms.  Fish farming used to be profitable, but the

    supplies have since depleted and many large dried-out man-made

    lakes remain.  It is in one of these lakes that the State Border

    Protection Committee intends to relocate the border post site.

    SAYOD, HUNTER, #7

    5.  (SBU)  The effects of the Pyanj floods is most striking at

    Sayod, number 7 of the Moscovsky posts.  Little remains of the

    post, established at least twenty years ago.  Prior to the

    flooding, Sayod had 12 buildings, now there are only four.  The

    floods cause land erosion, which claimed 8 of the buildings,

    including warehouses and offices.  Although the water flow has

    been diverted, land continues to erode away and threatens what's

    left of Sayod's property.  The State Border Protection Committee

    wants to build a new post on nearby higher ground with a better

    view of the Afghan border and safe from the Pyanj.

    6.  (SBU)  Sayod has a minimal communications system comprised

    of only Motorola radios.  The post's commander reported the

    soldiers received Halal meals from U.S. assistance, but that

    many fell ill after eating what they commonly believe to be

    expired MREs.  He claimed a doctor lab-tested them and deemed

    DUSHANBE 00001758  002.2 OF 002

    them unacceptable to eat.  (Note:  The border guards do not have

    a qualified lab technician to conduct tests and provided no

    evidence supporting their finding.  Post is working to train and

    set up a proper forensics lab in Tajikistan.)

    JAIROLI, PORCUPINE, #6 AND MUHOJOROBAD, LAND OF REFUGEES, #5

    7.  (SBU)  The Jairoli #6 post and Muhojorobad #5 post face

    problems common to border posts throughout Tajikistan.  Each

    post houses approximately 50 soldiers, but their dilapidated

    buildings and poor facilities make living conditions difficult.

    Jairoli is at least 25 years old and Muhojorobad's construction

    dates to the 1940s or 1950s.  Both Jairoli and Muhojorobad could

    benefit from a water well and water pump.  Tajikistan's rural

    water supply system has deteriorated since the Soviet times.

    Currently, Jairoli gets its water supply through a rudimentary

    pipe and water wheel operating on a stream that runs through the

    post's compound.

    8. (SBU)   Both posts need significant renovation.  Areas of

    importance include establishing bathroom and shower facilities,

    constructing new roofs, renovating warehouses and repairing

    crumbling internal walls.  Both posts currently have Motorola

    radios and also utilize an old ineffective cable telephone line.

     Building officers' quarters would boost morale at the posts.

    Currently officers live and work in their offices.  With

    officers' quarters they could bring their families to live with

    them at post.  That way, they would be able to remain on site

    longer throughout the year.

    9.  (SBU)  State Border Protection Committee guides told EmbOffs

    Jairoli and Muhojorobad also received Halal meals, but we did

    not see any uniforms, boots, sleeping bags or other U.S.

    assistance.

    10.  (SBU)  COMMENT:  Post will reexamine and increase end-use

    monitoring of border guard assistance and devise an improved

    plan to directly provide INL assistance to the border posts

    instead of routing it through the central government where

    bureaucracy and corruption can delay essential assistance.

    Post's Senior Law Enforcement Advisor has visited the site for

    follow-on assessments and will bring direct assistance during

    future site visits instead of relying on the State Border

    Protection Committee which has responded slowly to needs.  In

    addition, post will consider providing food assistance in the

    forms of staples locally purchased instead of U.S. military

    Halal meals which Tajik soldiers do not favor.

    11.  (SBU)  The devastation caused by flooding at the posts on

    the Afghan border shows the destructive potential of the river.

    In addition, the country's inadequate water delivery system is

    extremely evident at these border outposts.  Water issues have a

    tremendous effect on the environment, health and economy.  Here

    in Tajikistan, we also see the important role that water plays

    in security issues.  The border posts need to be repaired or

    relocated with potential flooding hazards in mind if Tajikistan

    wants to continue to be successful in protecting its borders.

    END COMMENT.

    JACOBSON

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

    id: 79834

    date: 9/27/2006 10:22

    refid: 06DUSHANBE1765

    origin: Embassy Dushanbe

    classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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

    UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DUSHANBE 001765

    SIPDIS

    SIPDIS

    STATE FOR SCA/CEN

    E.O. 12958: N/A

    TAGS: PREL, PGOV, ECIN, ECON, EFIN, ENRG, TBIO, TI

    SUBJECT: CHINESE DRAGON STEPS GENTLY IN TAJIKISTAN

    REF: DUSHANBE 1718; DUSHANBE 1726

    DUSHANBE 00001765  001.2 OF 002

    1.  SUMMARY:  Chinese Ambassador to Tajikistan Li Huilai laid

    out the founding principles of friendship between Tajikistan and

    China, including economic, security, and cultural relations, at

    an academic conference hosted by the Tajik Center for Strategic

    Research in Dushanbe on September 26.  Academics and

    policymakers spent the day discussing the future potential of

    China-Tajik relations.  Beyond the Shanghai Cooperation

    Organization (SCO), China seeks to develop its status as a

    bilateral partner in Tajikistan's overall development.  END

    SUMMARY.

    2.  Li's remarks followed a standard Chinese script.  He said

    that the Tajik-Chinese relationship is based foremost on trust,

    and noted the significance of the upcoming signing of a document

    on cooperation and friendship.  China's goals, he asserted, are

    to help the Tajik government "uphold its independence and

    enhance social stability."  Li enumerated the economic and

    security related agreements signed between the two countries

    during the recent meeting in Dushanbe of the leaders of the

    Shanghai Cooperation Organization (reftels).  Li emphasized that

    China is not interested in domestic Tajik affairs or internal

    politics.  He stated that each country has its own path of

    development, and that China would respect the model that

    Tajikistan has chosen for itself.

    3.  Although trade between the two countries is very small, Li

    noted that it is growing quickly.  Last year, trade equaled $157

    million between the two countries, whereas this year trade

    should break the $200 million threshold.  Umarov, a speaker from

    the Tajik Center for Strategic Research, lamented that this

    trade is basically one-sided, with Tajikistan importing consumer

    products from China.  Umarov called on China to seek out Tajik

    goods to import from the textiles, food, mining, and other

    spheres.  He noted, however, that low-cost goods from China

    allow Tajik consumers to purchase more goods than otherwise

    available from Russia, Turkey, or elsewhere.  He also noted that

    cheap transport costs from China make their goods more desirable

    to Tajik consumers.  For example, cargo on a truck through the

    Pamir mountains costs $90 per cubic meter, versus $260 per cubic

    meter on a cargo plane.  Chinese assistance with Tajik road

    improvement projects could make goods from China even more

    attractive.

    4.  China is also extending its friendship to Tajikistan in the

    cultural and educational spheres.  According to Li, China gave

    30 student scholarships to Tajik students to study in China this

    year -- twice as many as last year.  In September, the first six

    Chinese students came to Tajikistan to study.  China has opened

    its training institutes to various Tajik specialists, and has

    already trained 100 specialists in China.  The Tajik Department

    of Health sent doctors to China to study medicine.  The Tajik

    Minister of Education will soon travel to China to sign an

    agreement on further strengthening cooperation in education.

    5.  In the cultural realm, Li noted that China will send several

    national artists and performers to Tajikistan for concerts.  On

    September 27, the National Museum of Tajikistan will open an

    exhibit on Chinese instruments.  The Chinese Embassy will

    sponsor a Chinese movie week by the end of the year, and China

    is working on a Chinese Cultural Center in Tajikistan.  In

    addition, China would like to make 2007 the "Year of China" in

    Tajikistan, and will seek to name 2008 the "Year of Tajikistan"

    in China.

    6.  Tajik academics at the conference responded positively to

    the Chinese Ambassador's comments and to China's involvement in

    Tajikistan through the SCO.  Many speakers called for further

    investment and cooperation beyond the stated projects, and see

    China as an able partner to help Tajikistan develop its

    struggling economy.

    7.  COMMENT:  The push from China for increased "mutual

    understanding" may provide very little to bridge the cultural

    chasm between the two countries.  On the other hand, the

    increased attractiveness of Chinese consumer goods, the

    provision of quick and well-targeted assistance projects, and

    expanded security cooperation will ensure that China plays an

    increasingly important role in Tajikistan, both within the

    DUSHANBE 00001765  002.2 OF 002

    multilateral confines of the SCO and directly as a bilateral

    partner.  END COMMENT.

    JACOBSON

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

    id: 79838

    date: 9/27/2006 10:27

    refid: 06DUSHANBE1766

    origin: Embassy Dushanbe

    classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

    destination: 06DUSHANBE1766

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

    UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 DUSHANBE 001766

    SIPDIS

    SENSITIVE

    SIPDIS

    SCA FOR FEIGENBAUM

    E.O. 12958: N/A

    TAGS: PGOV, PREL, OEXC, TI

    SUBJECT: TAJIKISTAN: KABIRI'S IRPT TAKES A "TIME OUT"

    DUSHANBE 00001766  001.2 OF 003

    1.  (SBU)  SUMMARY:  During an hour-long introductory call with

    the Ambassador September 26, Islamic Renaissance Party of

    Tajikistan (IRPT) leader Muhiddin Kabiri described his party's

    reasoning for not participating in the upcoming presidential

    elections.  Kabiri said the party would use the next three years

    to increase party strength and "build trust from domestic

    society and the international community" in preparation for the

    2009 parliamentary elections - "the government will no longer be

    able to play the Islamic fear card against us then."  Kabiri

    made a plea for increased educational exchanges and help

    improving the level of English among the party's young people -

    "otherwise they go to Russia."  End Summary.

    ===============

    Internal and External Factors Behind the "Time Out" Decision

    ===============

    2.  (SBU)  Kabiri listed several domestic reasons for the

    party's September 25 decision not to participate in the

    presidential elections.  First, there is no proper legal basis

    for the elections.  Perhaps more importantly, Rahmonov's forces

    have created a political environment where society believes

    there is no real alternative to him.  The "monopolist" press has

    already been conducting a pro-Rahmonov campaign for two or three

    years; it is impossible to conduct a campaign in a matter of

    months.  "You could battle Rahmonov as a person, as a politician

    - but not his administrative resources."  Kabiri described a

    belief that exists both in Tajikistan and sometimes abroad that

    the active political participation of an Islamic party is

    ironically a threat to democratization - the ruling party argues

    that should the IRPT gain power, it will set Tajikistan on the

    same course as Afghanistan under the Taliban, or at least be

    "bad for the investment environment."  The IRPT has found it

    difficult to get out its message that it is not extremist, but

    rather stands for fair government that reflects the common

    "values of civilization and humanity" and not just Islamic

    values.

    3.  (SBU)  Kabiri also described challenges posed by the

    external environment.  When the U.S. began its fight against the

    Taliban in Afghanistan, the party took a difficult decision - to

    support the U.S. battle against terrorism even against

    "believing Muslims."  The party's support of the U.S. position

    had cost it some of its electorate.  The war in Iraq compounded

    this problem, as had Western reaction to the election of Hamas

    in Palestine.  "Our people say that when an Islamic party was

    democratically elected, it created a rift with the West, and

    caused problems not just for the government, but for the people

    of Palestine."  Kabiri's media statements that his party decided

    not to participate in the election so as "not to create a

    confrontational situation" grow in part from this perception.

    4.  (SBU)  "There will not be a true contest," Kabiri predicted.

     When we participate in elections, he added, we want to

    participate in a true competition.  To participate at this

    juncture would "play with the feelings of the electorate."

    ==============

    Election Conduct and Next Steps

    ==============

    5.  (SBU)  Kabiri said his party would like to observe the

    voting process, and would like to have one of its members

    participate in the Election Commission (Note:  Parliament

    Speaker and Dushanbe Mayor Ubaidulloyev had told Ambassador

    earlier that day that only parties fielding a candidate would be

    allowed to observe the elections at polling places.  The Mayor

    is probably incorrect.  The Central Committee on Elections and

    DUSHANBE 00001766  002.2 OF 003

    Referenda already having approved IRPT representatives at

    polling stations even prior to its decision not to field a

    candidate. The CCER's Deputy Chairman Muhibulloh Dodojonov has

    already told international organizations that the government has

    changed the decree to permit all political parties to send in

    observers regardless of whether or not they have fielded a

    candidate.)  Kabiri said he doubted the presidential election

    would be substantially better than the last parliamentary

    elections.  Following the election, which Kabiri described as a

    "Time Out" for his party, the IPRT will focus its efforts on

    "building up trust in society" and "strengthening the party" for

    participation in parliamentary elections three years hence.  He

    said the environment then would be different - "they will no

    longer be able to play the fear-of-Islamists card against us."

    The IPRT would not be substantially changing its strategies or

    tactics, "but every generation has its own view."

    ===============

    Separating the IRPT from Extremists

    ===============

    6.  (SBU)  Kabiri pointed out the difference between what he

    called "extremist" groups such as the IMU, which use violence to

    achieve political goals, and "radical" groups such at Hizb Ut

    -Tahrir (HT), which do not.  "I'm not a supporter of HT," he

    said, "but we shouldn't be imprisoning people for having radical

    ideas if they're not acting on them with violence."  When you

    put young people in jail for 8-10 years because of political

    ideology, they're already "lost" and more disposed to become

    extremists, even terrorists. The official position of the IRPT

    is that HT's ideas are utopian and against the national interest

    of an independent and sovereign Tajikistan.

    ==============

    Request for More Exchanges

    ==============

    7.  (SBU)  As in every official meeting the Ambassador has had

    since her arrival, Kabiri asked for more educational exchange

    opportunities for Tajik students, especially those from the

    IRPT.  Many of his staff have been to the United States.  "They

    always return with a greater appreciation for the U.S. because

    of the respect they see for Muslims there."  He lamented that so

    far no IRPT members had been selected for educational exchange

    programs, "although I know the selection is fair and

    transparent, and you cannot establish some kind of IRPT quota."

    (Note: Vohidkhon Qisiddinov, Head of Administration for the IRPT

    was selected for USAID's Community Connections exchange program

    in the United States October 6-25.)   He thought perhaps the

    level of English language was not sufficient to compete

    successfully, "so many of our students go to Russia."  Kabiri

    himself, who regularly travels abroad, including several visits

    to lecture at Columbia University, has again been invited for a

    three week trip this fall to the United States.  "It's tough for

    a political leader to be away for such a long time, and it's

    also a political question - some of our members think I already

    spend too much time in the West."

    8.  (SBU)  Comment:  While sharing the view of other opposition

    parties who have opted out of the election (septel) that there

    will not be a level playing field for candidates, Kabiri clearly

    believes that the political dynamic in the country will evolve

    over time to permit more electoral freedom.  Although Rahmonov's

    People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan will hold onto power,

    the tools it has used to do so thus far (fear of instability,

    assertions that an Islamic party would send Tajikistan back to

    the dark ages) will be increasingly less effective as time goes

    by and the devastating civil war recedes from the political

    DUSHANBE 00001766  003.2 OF 003

    consciousness.

    9.  (SBU)  We are struck by the constant request for more

    educational exchanges in the United States - including from some

    less expected sources such as the leader of the Islamic party

    and Parliament Speaker, largely believed to be in Moscow's

    pocket.  It is clear to us that the emerging political

    generation, no longer overwhelmed by memories of the dark days

    of the 1990s, is looking for a touchstone - if not in the United

    States, they'll find it in Russia or Iran.  To truly promote

    democratic political development in the only country in Central

    Asia to have a legal Islamic party, we need to dramatically

    increase our exchanges, and find new ways to boost the level of

    English language throughout the country - Peace Corps could play

    a positive role in this regard.   End Comment.

    JACOBSON

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

    id: 79939

    date: 9/28/2006 2:53

    refid: 06DUSHANBE1773

    origin: Embassy Dushanbe

    classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

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

    UNCLAS DUSHANBE 001773

    SIPDIS

    SENSITIVE

    SIPDIS

    STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL

    E.O. 12958: N/A

    TAGS: PGOV, PREL, KDEM, TI

    SUBJECT: SIX WEEKS OUT: NO STRONG CANDIDATE WILL CHALLENGE RAHMONOV

    REF: Dushanbe 1766

    1.  (U)  Tajikistan's opposition political party congresses have

    taken a stance not to participate in the election.   Short of

    boycotting the election, the Islamic Renaissance Party of

    Tajikistan (IRPT), the Social Democratic Party of Tajikistan

    (SDPT) and the Democratic Party of Tajikistan (DPT) each decided

    not to nominate a candidate to run against President Rahmonov in

    the November election.   In addition the parties will not throw

    their support behind any candidate.

    2.  (U)  The SDPT and the DPT declared the election "irrelevant"

    and spoke out against the unconstitutional nature of Rahmonov's

    presidency.  They will not consider the results of the November

    election legitimate.  The parties as a whole are refusing to

    participate in the election, but will allow members to vote for

    whomever they choose.  The DPT and SDPT, spearheaded by the

    country's preeminent constitutional lawyer Rahmatullo Zoyirov

    who helped draft the constitution, do not recognize the 2003

    constitutional referendum that permitted Rahmonov to run for two

    additional seven-year terms.  Both parties publicly stated that

    they foresee the election will not be free or fair.

    3.  (U)  The IRPT congress on similar lines voted unanimously

    not to nominate a candidate, not to publicly support any

    candidate and also not to boycott the election.  In addition,

    the party rationalized that it needs to work on its image.  It

    does not want the people to view it as an opposition party that

    is a destabilizing force, a reputation stemming from the Civil

    War that ended nearly ten years ago.  The Ambassador met with

    IPRT Chairman Muhiddin Kabiri September 26 to discuss this

    decision further. (reftel).

    4.  (U)  The IRPT's Chief of Information, Saifullozoda remarked

    the decision was "in the spirit of the late Nuri."  Saifullozoda

    suggested that just as a decision to remain silent is inherent

    in free speech, the IRPT's decision to not to field a candidate

    is consistent with the practice of democracy.

    5.  (U)  Rahmonov officially accepted the People's Democratic

    Party of Tajikistan's nomination to run for a new term September

    23.  He was unanimously supported by the party's delegates.

    The Communist Party of Tajikistan (CPT) also nominated Ismoil

    Talbakov, a parliament member.

    6.  (SBU)  COMMENT:  The SDPT, DPT and IRPT's decisions not to

    run a candidate do not come as a surprise.  All three know that

    no candidate they field could possibly beat Rahmonov.  In the

    SDPT and DPT's case, taking a stance and not participating is

    the loudest political message they could send and a more shrewd

    move than attempting to field a candidate.  Although the IRPT

    took a similar stance, it distanced itself slightly from the

    SDPT and DPT, not wanting to be lumped in the category of

    "opposition" political parties.  If the IRPT ran Kabiri, he and

    IRPT members would have faced harassment from the government.

    If the IRPT supported Rahmonov, it would create more tension and

    possibly a public party split.

    7.  (SBU)  The OSCE has said that it will send 100 short term

    observers for the election with the caveat that if no credible

    opposition candidates emerge, it would consider rescinding the

    decision.  With the SDPT, DPT and IRPT out, no true opposition

    candidate is eligible to run.  Narziev's Socialist Party of

    Tajikistan, although considered opposition is not eligible to

    run since the party is not officially registered.  We will see

    if the OSCE considers the pocket party and pro-governmental

    party candidates to be credible.  END COMMENT.

    JACOBSON

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

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

    C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 DUSHANBE 001803

    SIPDIS

    SIPDIS

    E.O. 12958: DECL:  9/29/2016

    TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PHUM, KDEM, EAID, EINV, TI

    SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR A/S BOUCHER'S VISIT TO DUSHANBE

    CLASSIFIED BY: Tracey Ann Jacobson, Ambassador, U.S. Embassy

    Dushanbe, STATE.

    REASON: 1.4 (d)

    1.  (U)  Embassy Dushanbe welcomes Assistant Secretary Boucher

    back to Tajikistan.  This visit will be a good opportunity for

    you to build upon your May meetings in Dushanbe and give an

    extra push for better conduct one month before the presidential

    election.

    2.  (C)  The U.S.-Tajikistan bilateral relationship remains

    positive overall, but we have seen some troubling signs

    particularly in the democratic development arena.  Your visit

    exactly one month ahead of the November 6 presidential election

    is prime time to highlight problems with a one-sided election,

    the downward trend in treatment of non-governmental

    organizations, and problems in the business environment.

    Tajikistan remains a strong cooperative partner on issues of

    border security and the war against terror and we hope to use

    this success to leverage improvements in other areas.  (See

    suggested talking points, paras 7, 10, 13, 15, 19.)

    NOVEMBER 6 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

    3.  (SBU)  The State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human

    Rights and Labor recently granted the International Foundation

    for Election Systems an additional $300,000.  Through the

    efforts of this foundation, the Embassy, the Organization for

    Security and Cooperation in Europe and the United Nations

    Tajikistan Office of Peacebuilding, the Central Commission for

    Elections and Referenda has taken significant steps forward

    changing election protocols to more closely approach

    international standards, issuing uniform manuals and training

    polling station workers.

    4.  (C)  Despite small technical steps forward, the political

    playing field is wildly unbalanced.  The "opposition" political

    parties-- the Democratic Party of Tajikistan, the Social

    Democratic Party of Tajikistan and the Islamic Renaissance Party

    of Tajikistan-- are not fielding or supporting candidates for

    the election.  The Democratic Party of Tajikistan and Social

    Democratic Party of Tajikistan publicly criticize Rahmonov and

    his government, calling his presidency illegal and

    unconstitutional, and refuse to recognize the November 6

    election.  The rest of the parties are pocket parties --

    pro-governmental parties who put forth candidates for the effect

    of pluralism -- or are too weak to have a serious impact.

    Central Asia's only Islamic political party, the Islamic

    Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, is in a vulnerable position

    after the recent death of its leader, Said Abdullo Nuri.  A

    government smear campaign over the years since the civil war has

    led much of the public to believe that the Islamic Renaissance

    Party of Tajikistan could become a violent force of instability.

     Knowing that the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan will

    not win in the election and not wanting to further the

    opposition stereotype, Muhiddin Kabiri, the present chairman,

    has said that his party will take a hiatus to revamp its image

    and build its base in preparation for parliamentary elections in

    three years.

    5.  (SBU)  The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human

    Rights (ODIHR) plans on sending in long term observers and 100

    short term observers for the election.  Its observation

    mission's  report could be a map for future election

    improvements.  We expect the parallel Commonwealth of

    Independent States observer team will not provide as useful a

    critique of the election process.  We must remember that in a

    country like Tajikistan, democratic progress can be slow and the

    international community needs to remain vigilant and engaged.

    6.  (C)  Controversial laws have also been sidelined until after

    the election.  History shows that leaders tend to tighten the

    reigns after they consolidate power, and it is possible Rahmonov

    may gain the confidence to adopt more authoritarian policies

    after his expected landslide victory.

    7.  (C) Suggested talking points:

    --  As a popular leader, you have a real opportunity to conduct

    a fair election-you don't need to falsify results.  We

    appreciate you and other senior government leaders making public

    DUSHANBE 00001803  002 OF 004

    statements calling for a fair election.  This message needs to

    be delivered to the local levels.

    -- We hope that all candidates will have greater access to the

    media and equal exposure.

    -- We are concerned about continuing harassment of journalists

    leading up the election and a recent order from your government

    asking internet service providers to shut down all websites

    critical of the government.

    A DOWNWARD TREND FOR EXCHANGE PROGRAMS AND THE NON GOVERNMENTAL

    ORGANIZATION CLIMATE

    8.  (C)  Although Tajikistan does have a vibrant civil society,

    we remain concerned about an apparent trend against

    foreign-sponsored non governmental organizations.  The most

    recent victim is Mercy Corps where an expat had to leave

    following a "poison pen" letter and pressure from the Ministry

    of Justice.  The Mercy Corps problem falls into a pattern of

    certain ministries pressuring or harassing U.S.-funded non

    governmental organizations, including National Democratic

    Institute, International Research and Exchanges Board, Internews

    and the American Bar Association Central European and Eurasian

    Law Initiative.

    9.  (C)  We would like to increase U.S.- Tajik exchanges

    exponentially.  Tajik government officials and religious and

    civil society leaders regularly and eagerly call for

    opportunities to send their young people to the United States.

    However, we are disappointed that Embassy and U.S. non

    governmental organization exchange programs have faced

    obstacles.  The president has reportedly put a moratorium on all

    official travel abroad leading up to election and the

    International Research and Exchanges Board has recently been

    informed they are not permitted to begin recruiting for Muskie

    or U-GRAD educational exchange programs until after January

    2007.

    10.  (C) Suggested talking points:

    -- The climate for international non governmental organizations

    continues to concern us.  Non governmental organizations are

    still harassed by certain ministries and refused registration.

    -- The National Democratic Institute remains unregistered and

    Internews has not been able to reregister.  We hope that you

    will register them so that their employees can continue to carry

    out good work for the people of Tajikistan.

    -- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has told the International

    Research and Exchange Board to delay recruitment until next

    year.  We know the emphasis you place on education and ask you

    to support our efforts to send students to the United States,

    not postpone them.

    BUSINESS CLIMATE: BUYER BEWARE

    11.  (C)  Tajikistan officials regularly and publicly state they

    want foreign investors to bring money to Tajikistan to develop

    their energy, textiles, and other industries.  However, a recent

    survey showed that 85% of Tajiks think corruption is the main

    factor hindering economic growth, while Transparency

    International ranks Tajikistan as one of the most corrupt

    countries in the world.  Officials point to their transparent

    laws on investment but the government regularly sidesteps these

    rules at every level.  Tajiks pay bribes for jobs, education,

    and services.  Foreign and domestic investors face the

    uncertainty of a non-working judicial sector that cannot back up

    contracts.  Our economic assistance programs and others

    including the World Bank can help.  At a certain level the

    Tajiks recognize this and have been cooperating.

    12.  (SBU)  Your discussions on this issue will provide a

    suitable opening to address the case of Gerald Metals whose

    contract dispute with Tajik aluminum giant TadAZ remains bogged

    down in legal proceedings.  A similar case against TadAZ by

    Norsk Hydro led to the largest ever political risk insurance

    settlement, making large investors more shy than ever about

    investing in Tajikistan.  Failure to resolve the Gerald Metals

    case would further deteriorate Tajikistan's investment

    DUSHANBE 00001803  003 OF 004

    reputation.

    13.  (C) Suggested talking points:

    -- The U.S.-funded Pyanj bridge project is evidence of our

    support for economic development and regional integration.  The

    bridge is set for completion in June 2007, and will help develop

    commercial ties between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.

    --- Through a variety of assistance projects, including the

    transmission line feasibility study, programs for small and

    medium businesses, and banking sector projects, we are

    supporting Tajik economic development.

    --  However, Tajikistan needs to do better to rid itself of the

    Soviet legacy of corruption.  In order to attract Western

    investment, especially in Tajikistan's energy sector, the

    government needs to increase transparency, introduce regulatory

    reform and respect for rule-of-law and sanctity of contracts.

    -- Gerald Metals:  What are the prospects for resolution?

    BORDER SECURITY: A CORNERSTONE OF ASSISTANCE

     14.  (C)  Border security and counter-narcotics continue to be

    cornerstones in our bilateral relationship.  The Tajiks

    appreciate our assistance and are more than willing partners in

    law enforcement and border security.  We regularly facilitate

    training for Tajik military and uniformed personnel and

    exchanges to the United States and the Marshall Center.   We

    continue to renovate and equip outposts along the Afghan border.

     We have a Harris radio team that will help install a new

    communications system, allowing the border guards to be more

    effective.  This new communications system is the first of its

    kind in the region and will link all security ministries

    facilities and headquarters with state of the art

    interconnectivity.

    15.  (SBU) Suggested talking points:

    -- Congratulation on your excellent drug interdiction rates.  We

    will need to continue to support these efforts as the amount of

    opium Afghanistan produces and exports increases.  Tajikistan

    bears an important task in a dangerous neighborhood.

    THE ENERGY OF THE SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANIZATION

    16.  (C) At the September 15-16 Shanghai Cooperation

    Organization meeting here in Dushanbe, China claims to have kept

    the discussions well within what we consider positive

    parameters, focusing on economic cooperation first and foremost,

    although China and Tajikistan also completed their first joint

    military exercises in the Tajik mountains.  China announced a

    host of cultural and educational initiatives aimed at building

    trust here.  Public comment -- and we have not heard otherwise

    -- from Russia and Tajikistan underlines that countries in the

    region will try to use the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

    mainly for economic purposes.

    17.  (C)  There has been rampant speculation about the make-up

    and direction of the proposed "Shanghai Cooperation Organization

    Energy Club", which may become an important mechanism, but would

    only be one of many fora discussing regional energy issues.

    With a cold winter of energy shortages approaching, Tajikistan

    is laser-focused on negotiating with Uzbekistan on natural gas

    imports to keep some electricity running in Tajikistan to heat

    the countryside.  Tajikistan hopes the Shanghai Cooperation

    Organization can help them leverage Uzbekistan on energy issues

    in the future; the Uzbek side has shown no interest in helping

    its neighbor, however.  In the long-term, Tajikistan may try to

    develop its latent coal, oil, and natural gas resources.  Also,

    the new United States Agency for International Development

    Regional Energy Market Assistance Program (REMAP) is designed to

    help the region form a functioning energy market.  In the

    short-term, rationing and stockpiling for the winter has already

    begun.

    18.  (C)  Overall, Tajikistan has taken a healthy approach to

    China.  We agree with the International Monetary Fund and others

    that the $637 million Chinese loan for Tajik infrastructure

    projects will bring positive economic development and increased

    DUSHANBE 00001803  004 OF 004

    trade and investment opportunities.  Partnering with China

    reduces Tajikistan's reliance on Uzbekistan and Russia for its

    overall needs, while also reducing our own leverage here.  China

    possesses the advantage of tremendous resources combined with

    rapid implementation.  With ink still wet on the investment loan

    agreements, the Chinese have begun work on road and energy

    projects.  By contrast, Tajiks increasingly view the U.S. as

    slow-moving, and are frustrated with our lack of public

    financial support for new energy projects.  The Minister of

    Energy recently complained that U.S. company AES is behind

    schedule in completing its feasibility study of a north-south

    transmission line.  With hydropower, the Tajiks are looking to

    whoever can construct dams fastest.  Russian giant RusAl has

    staked its claim on Rogun but continues to drag its feet on

    agreement of financial and technical terms with Tajikistan.  The

    Tajiks will also bring up the Dhasti-Jhum dam project, which has

    huge potential.  Rahmonov will likely ask for our assistance in

    developing this project, perhaps funding a feasibility study.

    19.  (C) Suggested talking points:

    --  The U.S. supports Tajikistan's plans for development of its

    extensive hydropower resources, and we will provide whatever

    technical and coordination support we can.  U.S. company AES

    remains interested in investing in the hydropower sector.

    --  The U.S. appreciates Tajikistan's support for regional

    energy development projects that will help its neighbor,

    Afghanistan, such as the transmission lines to be constructed

    next year.

    --  We look forward to the upcoming regional energy conference

    in Dushanbe at the end of October as a means to discuss future

    energy cooperation.

    JACOBSON

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

    id: 81042

    date: 10/7/2006 8:08

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

    C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DUSHANBE 001840

    SIPDIS

    SIPDIS

    STATE FOR SCA/CEN

    NSC FOR MERKEL

    E.O. 12958: DECL:  10/7/2016

    TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PHUM, KDEM, EAID, EINV, ENRG, TI

    SUBJECT: FOREIGN MINISTER LOOKS SOUTH FOR OPPORTUNITY AND NERVOUSLY

    AT GEORGIA

    CLASSIFIED BY: TJACOBSON, AMBASSADOR, STATE, STATE.

    REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

    1.  (SBU)  SUMMARY:  In a 45-minute meeting with Assistant

    Secretary Richard Boucher October 6,  Foreign Minister Talbak

    SIPDIS

    Nazarov remarked that the United States and Tajikistan have a

    positive bilateral relationship because they have built an

    atmosphere of trust.   He thanked Boucher for the U.S. security

    and economic assistance but urged increased U.S. engagement in

    Afghanistan, where the deteriorating situation poses a direct

    threat to Tajikistan.  The short and long-term electricity

    supply remains a top concern.  END SUMMARY.

    AFGHANISTAN

    2.  (C)  Nazarov expressed a fear that the "exacerbated"

    situation in southern Afghanistan could move north, posing a

    direct threat to Tajikistan's border and stability.  "The

    illicit drug flow is more than enough already," he quipped.

    Tajikistan did not want to seriously criticize the Afghan

    government, but encouraged the United States to step up its

    engagement.  Nazarov noted that recent announcement that NATO

    will increase troop numbers was a good sign.  Afghanistan is a

    big country that needs more forces, he advised.  Nazarov

    applauded efforts to train Afghan police to help fight the

    Taliban, but noted the Afghan border guards also needed

    assistance.

    3.  (C)  Boucher agreed that expanding government operations and

    increasing the Afghan police and armed forces would lead to

    greater stability, but Afghanistan also needed significant

    infrastructure to achieve real peace.  The fundamental issue, he

    said, was to strengthen government in Afghanistan's border areas.

    4.  (SBU)  Nazarov noted that bilateral relations between

    Dushanbe and Kabul were good, and getting stronger, as the two

    countries signed more agreements and increase operational

    cooperation, particularly on drugs.   The U.S.- funded bridge at

    Nizhniy Pyanj, slated to open Summer 2007, will provide further

    opportunities for cooperation, and trade.

    ENERGY

    5.  (SBU)  Because Tajikistan has no gas or oil, Nazarov noted

    that securing electricity for the winter was a top priority.  He

    lamented the inadequate transmission network that cut off

    northern Tajikistan from the south.  Tajikistan had recently

    reached an agreement with Kyrgyzstan to purchase electricity,

    but because transmission lines go through Uzbekistan, Tashkent

    scuttled the deal, and then suggested the Tajiks purchase Uzbek

    electricity, and three times the cost.  The Chinese project to

    build South-North high voltage transmission lines through the

    Varzob Gorge will eliminate this problem by connecting directly

    to Kyrgyzstan's network, but those lines will not be ready for

    at two years.

    6.  (C)  Nazarov hinted that Uzbekistan had also played a role

    in the changing relations between the Tajik government and

    RusAl's Oleg Deripaska over the Rogun hydropower station.  "I

    don't want to blame the Uzbeks, but when Deripaska came back

    from Tashkent, he came a different person" and no longer

    accepted the long-standing design for a 335 meter earth-and-rock

    dam.  The recently published Lahmayer technical study on Rogun

    had not entirely settled the issue of height and of a cement

    versus earth dam.  The World Bank will be weighing in with an

    independent assessment.

    7.  (SBU)  Nazarov said the upcoming Central Asia and South Asia

    Electricity Trade conference in Dushanbe October 26-28, would

    provide another opportunity for regional countries to work out

    trade agreements for electricity, particularly for Afghanistan.

    He noted that Tajikistan had a good record of exporting to those

    places in Afghanistan that had transmission lines. "Even in the

    winter, when we don't have enough electricity, we still export

    to Afghanistan."

    INVESTMENT CLIMATE AND CORRUPTION

    DUSHANBE 00001840  002 OF 002

    8.  (C)  Boucher observed that the investment climate and

    widespread corruption meant Tajikistan remained a risk for

    investors.  He noted that the unresolved case of Gerald Metals

    with the state aluminum plant "TadAZ" stood out as an example of

    what could happen in Tajikistan, and urged the Tajik government

    to help resolve the case soon.  Nazarov called the former TadAZ

    director a criminal, and remarked that the director was being

    also prosecuted in London.  Nazarov reported that Tajikistan

    signed the anti-corruption convention in New York during the UN

    general Assembly meetings in September.  New domestic

    legislation also addresses corruption.

    PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

    9.  (C)  In response to Boucher's question about the November 6

    presidential election, Nazarov laughed and said, "I only know

    what I read."  He said he was surprised the Islamic Renaissance

    Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) has declined to put up a candidate,

    but reported that a friend of his in the party has said they did

    not want to "waste their time."  The Islamists would save their

    efforts and strength for the future.  Nazarov noted that some

    parties worked quietly to build their base, while others

    quarreled among themselves.

    10.  (SBU)  Nazarov reported that President Rahmonov had given

    firm instructions that all candidates should have access to

    state media services, and ministers and local officials were not

    to interfere in the election process.  Observers from any

    country would be allowed on November 6.

    11.  (SBU)  Boucher asked whether there were any plans to

    investigate or punish cases where fraud did occur.  "I honestly

    don't know," said the foreign minister.  "You can ask the

    president."  Boucher states that the election was a chance to

    get the procedures and processes right.

    12.  (SBU)  Boucher also asked about registration and licensing

    of media outlets and radio stations, including U.S.-funded

    community radio stations through the non-governmental

    organization Internews.  Nazarov switched to the subject of BBC,

    and reported he had personally spoken with the head of the state

    agency on radio, and it seemed likely the BBC would be licensed

    soon.

    GEORGIA AND RUSSIA

    13.  (C)  Mentioning with concern the situation between Russia

    and Georgia, Nazarov observed, "Whenever a big country and a

    small country come into conflict, the small country suffers

    first."  Boucher said his message during upcoming consultations

    in Moscow was that U.S. and Russian goals and interests in the

    region are the same.   Competition only harmed countries in the

    region, including Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

    14.  (SBU)  COMMENT:  Nazarov was relaxed and open, but

    non-committal on the elections, preferring to pass that to the

    President himself.  END COMMENT.

    JACOBSON

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

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    RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 0203

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

    C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 DUSHANBE 001841

    SIPDIS

    SIPDIS

    STATE FOR SCA/CEN

    NSC FOR MERKEL

    E.O. 12958: DECL:  10/7/2016

    TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PHUM, KDEM, EAID., EINV, ENRG, TI

    SUBJECT: TAJIK PRESIDENT TELLS BOUCHER ELECTION SHOULD MEET

    INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS

    CLASSIFIED BY: TJACOBSON, AMBASSADOR, STATE, STATE.

    REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

    1.  (C)  SUMMARY:  In a two-hour meeting with Assistant

    Secretary Richard Boucher October 6, Tajikistan's President

    SIPDIS

    Emomali Rahmonov stressed the positive bilateral relationship

    with the United States.  Stating he wanted to deepen contacts at

    every level, Rahmonov thanked the United States particu

    Источник: ИА "Авеста"
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