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id: 105702

date: 4/25/2007 12:53

refid: 07DUSHANBE628

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 000628

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

COMMERCE/ITA FOR RISD; COMMERCE/ITA FOR DYCK; STATE FOR SCA/CEN, STATE FOR EB

E.O. 12958: DECL:  4/25/2017

TAGS: ECON, EFIN, EINV, ETRD, PGOV., PREL, TI, AF

SUBJECT: SETTING THE SCENE FOR DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

PAUL DYCK'S MAY 6-9 VISIT TO TAJIKISTAN

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

Dushanbe, State.

REASON: 1.4 (d)

1.  (C) You will be pleasantly surprised by the veneer of

Dushanbe's active consumer economy, which hides the underbelly

of massive corruption and industrial decay.  The government,

including the recently renamed Foreign Minister Zarifi and

President Rahmon (going back to their Tajik roots), insists on

talking "economics before politics."  However, they turn a deaf

ear when we insist that only reforming their business climate

will attract Western investors, and are insulted by the

suggestion that corruption scares off businesses.  They point to

over $800 million in no-strings-attached Chinese loans they have

received for infrastructure projects, and tell us to bring

American companies to Tajikistan.

2.  (U) We enjoy friendly relations with this small but

strategic country on the Afghan border, and view economic and

democratic development here as a key to ensuring long-term

regional stability.  While U.S.-Tajik bilateral economic

relations are small ($103 million trade turnover last year), we

continue to seek avenues for U.S. private participation in the

Tajik economy-- and encourage international investment to help

advance economic reforms and stability.

3.  (U) Existing foreign businesses welcome the potential

opening of an American Chamber of Commerce in Tajikistan, as a

signal that Tajikistan is catching up with the rest of the

world.  While few American companies operate here, several

US-Tajik joint ventures have expressed interest in joining an Am

Cham.  Following a series of working group meetings and several

Am Cham-sponsored events, your attendance at the planned Am Cham

founder's dinner on May 8 will encourage Tajik-American

businesses to establish a chamber here.

4.  (U) Your visit provides another chance for Tajik government

officials to hear first-hand the steps they need to take for

economic development, a message they do not necessarily accept.

In your meetings, you will encounter a great enthusiasm for U.S.

investment, and requests to send American companies to

Tajikistan, but few substantial examples of what the Tajiks are

doing to create an attractive environment or recruit

international businesses beyond vague talks of "fighting

corruption" and a "law on foreign investments" that has yet

truly to protect the few international firms that run into

problems.  Cross-border trade faces customs challenges, visa

issues, and political mistrust.  The Department of

Commerce-sponsored Central Asia Transportation Infrastructure

Conference on May 7 offers private companies across the region a

chance to push their officials to reform, and to enhance trade

relationships in the region.

ENERGY AND INFRASTRUCTURE

5.  (SBU) This past winter was a cold and dark one for most

Tajiks, who lacked electricity and heat in all areas outside

central Dushanbe.  Tajiks find the situation very ironic,

considering the country's massive hydropower potential.  Lousy

relations with neighboring Uzbekistan prevented normal shipments

of electricity, oil and gas into Tajikistan.  You will be asked

about U.S. plans for developing Tajikistan's energy sector.

Although the U.S. company AES is opening a Dushanbe office, we

are not a major player in this sector, compared to Russia,

China, and Iran, who are all building hydropower stations.  You

will be asked when the United States will build Dashti-Jhum, a

massive 4000 megawatt dam on the Afghan border.

6.  (SBU) As part of the push for regional integration, the

United States is pushing for Tajik hydropower to be exported to

Pakistan and Afghanistan.  A major issue is who will pay for the

electricity once it is produced.  To that end, the United States

is working in Afghanistan and Tajikistan to develop the

regulatory environment and funded a feasibility study for

transmission lines to Afghanistan.  We are currently

facilitating the negotiation of a power purchasing agreement

between Tajikistan and Afghanistan, and are encouraging U.S.

private sector participation in the development of hydropower

and related infrastructure.

7.  (SBU) Given the steady flow of state-funded investment from

China, Iran and Russia in hydropower, transmission lines,

telecom, roads and tunnels, the Tajiks will be looking for the

same kind of engagement from the United States -- and will be

less interested in hearing that they should improve their

DUSHANBE 00000628  002 OF 003

business climate in order to attract private companies.

TRANSPORTATION

8.  (C)  It is incredibly hard to get in and out of Tajikistan.

You will leave Dushanbe on the twice-weekly Turkish Air flight

to Istanbul, the only flight for Western business travelers, and

the only airline serving Tajikistan where you can buy a ticket

online.  Government-owned Tajik Air has refused to reform

despite massive pressure from President Rahmon and international

donors.  Tajik Air's rapidly aging fleet will last only a few

more years, and they have been actively pursuing purchase of new

planes.  The Embassy has facilitated communications with Boeing

and with leasing companies interested in providing aircraft to

Tajik Air.  Although we view this as a good opportunity for U.S.

exports, Tajik Air has been unable to come up with the

financing, largely because they are unwilling to open their

books to independent audits.  Our message to Tajik Air is they

need to reform their ticketing policies and join the

international reservations system, adopt international

accounting standards, and separate their airport operations and

civil aviation administration from the airline operations.

Tajik Air's lack of development is a major hindrance to

international investment.  Businesses will find it easier to go

to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan

9.  (SBU) Tajikistan relies on rail transport for most of its

trade.  Northern and southern rail routes carry cotton and

aluminum out of the country and bring in consumer goods,

vehicles, food, and agricultural equipment.  Main rail routes

pass through Uzbekistan and up through Kazakhstan and Russia

towards Europe.  Some goods pass through Uzbekistan to

Turkmenistan, Iran, and the Caspian Sea.  There are no rail

links to China or Afghanistan.  Roads through the mountains

range from poor and jaw-rattling in good weather to impassable

during winter.

10.  (C) Tajik officials and businesspeople are very excited

about the opening of the U.S.-funded bridge at Nizhniy Pyanj,

(which you will visit on Victory Day -- May 9).  The bridge will

allow the Tajiks more opportunity to bypass Uzbekistan and look

to South Asia as a commercial destination and partner.  The

bridge should open in August with Afghan President Karzai, Tajik

President Rahmon, and a high-level U.S. delegation attending.

The Tajik Foreign Minister floated the idea of a 10-vehicle

commercial convoy crossing the bridge carrying export goods from

Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan as part of the opening

ceremony.  Security issues in Afghanistan may prevent the convoy

from traveling south at the official opening, but it's a vision

that supports our concept of regional economic integration.

US - TAJIK TRADE

11.  (U) The United States exported $40 million in

pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, and consumer products to Tajikistan

in 2006.  Tajikistan in return sent $60 million in aluminum to

the United States.  In 2007, Tajikistan's overall exports will

grow to $1.2 billion, while its imports will swell to $2

billion.  Tajikistan sustains this deficit through a massive

inflow of foreign remittances from Tajik workers abroad in

Russia, Kazakhstan and other countries.  Last year, official

remittances (passing through banks) exceeded $1.2 billion; quite

a boost for a $3 billion economy.  Remittances have fed consumer

spending and construction, but do not feed back into the economy

as investments due to the weak banking sector and uncertain

investment climate.

12.  (U) U.S. companies active here include the energy company

AES, the telecom company MCT, COMSUP in mining, and Wakefield

Inspections, Rakhsh, and Javoni in textiles.  The U.S.-owned Obi

Zulol water factory in northern Tajikistan ships bottled water

to NATO troops in Afghanistan.  The major investment and trade

opportunities for U.S. companies include hydropower generation

and services, construction equipment, agribusiness machinery,

telecommunications equipment, mining equipment, and food

processing and packaging.

INVESTMENT CLIMATE

13.  (U) Tajik officials will insist that Tajik legislation

provides a welcome climate for foreign investment.  However,

courts do not uphold contracts or the rule of law.  Investors

bristle at the hassle of Tajik corruption; repeated demands for

money from low and mid-level officials across the government

dissuade entrepreneurs.  Small businesses flourish outside the

DUSHANBE 00000628  003 OF 003

official economy trading agricultural and consumer goods,

avoiding taxes and customs fees.  Our consistent message to the

Tajiks is: support the growth of small and medium enterprises

and reduce barriers to investment such as corruption.

14.  (U) Businesses face the usual laundry list of challenges:

excessive standardization and certification regulations;

difficult and corrupt customs clearances; confusing licensing

requirements.  Tajikistan's nascent banking sector faces

numerous challenges: insufficient capital, limited banking

services, and mistrust as a result of defaults in the 1990's.

Long-term loans are hard to come by in this cash-based economy.

15.  (SBU) One recent welcome turn of events concerned Gerald

Metals - after over two years, Tajikistan resolved the

long-standing dispute by agreeing to pay the entire $30 million

the U.S. company claimed following the default by the

state-owned aluminum company TadAZ.  In addition, GDP growth

continues at over 7% annually, beginning to lift Tajikistan out

of extreme poverty.  Tajikistan launched WTO accession

negotiations in 2004, and made progress in 2005 on the Goods and

Services Market Access Negotiations.  We look forward to your

visit and the dialogue it will bring.

JACOBSON

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

id: 105707

date: 4/25/2007 13:18

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

UNCLAS DUSHANBE 000629

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PHUM, ECON, ENRG, TI

SUBJECT: TAJIK PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR CALLS IN AMBASSADOR OVER REUTERS

INTERVIEW AND HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT

1.  (SBU)  Senior Presidential Advisor for Foreign Affairs

Rahmatulloyev called in Ambassador April 24 to discuss an April

23 Reuters article, in which she said corruption is the major

impediment to Western investment in Tajikistan.  Rahmatulloyev

said President Rahmon personally pays attention to such

articles, and was embarrassed by the negative tone of the

Reuters piece, especially "when the government is doing so much"

to combat corruption. Rahmon was apparently also irritated by

the weak characterization of Tajikistan's efforts to fight human

trafficking in DRL's press report on human rights in Tajikistan.

 "A more positive focus would help us develop our cooperation.

Such a negative focus hurts our bilateral efforts,"

Rahmatulloyev argued.

2.  (SBU)  Ambassador responded that she stood by what she had

said in the interview -- corruption and lack of a transparent,

predictable environment are real problems.  Many U.S businesses

and partners have difficulties serious enough to require embassy

intervention -- even at the Ambassadorial level.  The Gerald

Metals lawsuit took years to resolve; the Tajik government is

still treating COMSUP like a junior partner even though COMSUP

now owns 100% of its mining business; and the Nizhniy Pyanj

bridge is months behind schedule due to the government's delays

in supplying cement and issuing a license for the contractor.

The Ambassador noted that in the hour-long interview with

Reuters, she had discussed many subjects, including democratic

reform, security cooperation, and regional issues, and had

specifically mentioned some positive steps the government was

taking against corruption, which Reuters decided not to include.

 Ambassador pushed back on Rahmatulloyev's suggestion that she

either insist on pre-clearing articles that quote her or refuse

to give any more interviews to Reuters, saying that either would

be a violation of media freedom.

3.  (SBU)  Rahmatulloyev expressed particular concern about

AES's lack of activity in Tajikistan, insisting that "they've

promised to build a hydropower station."  Ambassador said she

couldn't speak authoritatively for a private company, but noted

that AES was likely waiting for the results of World Bank and

Asian Development Bank feasibility studies on the construction

of electrical transmission lines to Afghanistan/Pakistan.

Further, AES would probably want to see successful results from

a smaller project before investing in a big project like a dam.

She noted (yet again) that the U.S. government cannot tell

private companies when and where to invest.  Rahmatulloyev said

Rahmon had asked him to raise debt forgiveness; Ambassador

explained that it is unlikely that the Treasury and the Congress

would be willing to pursue the new legislation necessary to

forgive Tajikistan's 17 million USD debt when the country is

taking on so much new debt from China.

4.  (SBU)  Comment: We are unsure why the Reuters article earned

so much ire; it contained nothing we haven't said before, many

times.  Although the tone of the meeting was friendly,

Rahmatulloyev made it clear that Rahmon was personally insulted.

 Clearly, the president is having trouble digesting the fact

that Western businesses are not impressed by the creation of a

new anti-corruption agency (run by an allegedly corrupt former

city prosecutor) or speeches denouncing corruption.  It is

possible that Rahmon's irritation over the article is

symptomatic of the larger problem: the fact that the one-note

symphony (hydro, hydro, hydro) which forms the backdrop for

nearly every Tajik government engagement with foreign officials

has not produced new dams.  While the Tajik population has (so

far) given Rahmon a pass on his increasing authoritarianism,

power shortages threaten to erode his popularity, particularly

if the government commits to export up to 1000 megawatts of

electricity to South Asia, while Tajiks endure another cold,

dark winter.  End Comment.

JACOBSON

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

id: 105868

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

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DUSHANBE 000637

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL:  4/26/2017

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

SUBJECT: TAJIKS, WORLD BANK AND CONSULTANTS ON DIFFERENT PAGES FOR

REGIONAL ENERGY PROJECT

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

Dushanbe, State.

REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1.  (C) Summary: Tajikistan's April 24 energy roundtable

underscored the fundamentally different perspectives of the

World Bank and its consultants, and the Tajik government in

approaching a project aimed at bringing 1000 megawatts of Tajik

and Kyrgyz electricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan.  The

meeting, intended to launch the consultants' fieldwork for the

Central Asia and South Asia Regional Energy Market (CASAREM)

feasibility studies, was marked by the absence of a number of

key players, including SNC Lavalin -- the consultants the Asian

Development Bank hired to conduct the techno-economic study --

and some of Tajikistan's top decision makers, including Deputy

Prime Minister Ghulomov.

2.  (C)  While the five-hour meeting allowed the World Bank to

initiate a frank discussion about the concrete steps the Tajiks

must take to realize the project, comments and questions from

the Tajik side revealed that they are still thinking on a

strategic, not specific level.  The challenge before the World

Bank is to ensure that Tajiks give realistic answers to the

highly detailed and technical questions needed to analyze

Tajikistan's electricity export capacity.  Obtaining sound

information from the Tajiks will require continuing intensive

discussions by the World Bank's consultants and will not be

forthcoming through e-mail exchanges from afar.  End Summary.

3.  (C) Instead of Deputy Prime Minister Asadullo Ghulomov --

Tajikistan's energy and infrastructure czar -- Minister of

Energy and Industry Gulov opened the meeting, but left shortly

after his remarks, as did the Chairman of the state-owned

utility company Barki Tojik, Sharifhon Samiev.  (Note: Also

notably absent was former minister of Energy Abdullo Yerov, now

an energy advisor to the presidential administration. End Note.)

 Robin Jones from Fieldstone Capital outlined their work plan,

along with Nexant, and Chadbourne and Park, to examine the

commercial feasibility of the regional project.  Harvey Salgo,

an advisor to the Multi-Country Working Group, stood in for SNC

Lavalin by sketching the basics of the techno-economic

feasibility study.

4.  (C) The World Bank's Raghu Sharma presented risk mitigation

instruments available for the project to the dwindling

post-coffee break audience.  In other remarks, he noted that

Tajikistan needs to meet its domestic demand in order to

establish the political credibility of its export commitments.

Increases in international prices of steel, energy equipment and

services meant Tajikistan may need to revise the internal tariff

structure to ensure cost recovery.  Hydropower offered great

export potential, but because it is seasonal, Tajikistan should

think about coal resources to ensure a steady supply of

exportable energy.  "We may need a revised approach on the

financial viability," he cautioned, noting these were all

fundamental points for the project's member states to consider

when deciding if it was a "go or no-go" at future working group

meetings in Jeddah and Kabul.

Talking about my generation

-----------------------------------------

5.  (C)  A number of Tajik officials -- Minister Gulov, Deputy

Minister Akram Suleimenov, Deputy Chair of Barki Tojik Alexei

Silantiev --  pressed for foreign investment in new power

generation projects -- with the predictable shout-out for the

United States to build the 4000 megawatt power station

Dashti-Jhum.  When Sharma asked hypothetically how Tajikistan

would decide between domestic commitments to the state-owned

aluminum facility (Tajikistan's biggest electricity consumer)

and customers in Afghanistan and Pakistan, should the water

levels fall to the point that there was no surplus in a given

year, the Tajiks replied, "We will build more generation

projects."  Sharma was unable to extract a short-term concrete

answer to the potential problem.  Silantiev noted the need for

an international consortium to develop the 3600 megawatt Rogun

hydropower station quickly.

6.  (C)  Silantiev asked why the project was focused on

exporting 1000 megawatts, when Pakistan had expressed interest

in 4000 megawatts.  Sharma and Nexant's Ray Holton both implored

the Tajiks to think about this as a very concrete initial

project based on existing surpluses that would set the stage for

DUSHANBE 00000637  002 OF 002

larger export projects.  Sharma joked with the Tajiks, "Where

are those 4000 megawatts you want to export?" he said. "You

don't have that kind of export potential yet.  I'll personally

give one million dollars to anyone who can even ensure year

round surplus of 1000 megawatts by 2010."

7.  (C)  Only Suleimenov and Pulat Mukhiddinov, First Deputy

Minister of Energy and Industry, appeared to take the point.

Mukhiddinov noted that Tajikistan needed to take advantage of

the international financial institutions' help in managing risk,

but doing some back-of-the-envelope calculations, Tajikistan

should be able to export up to 1000 megawatts within the

framework of the project.  He also reported that in May,

Tajikistan would host a meeting of up to 16 companies interested

in investing in coal-fired power stations.

What next??

------------------

 8.  (C) The absence of Asian Development Bank-funded

consultants SNC Lavalin undercut the purpose of bringing

together all the players involved in Tajikistan's part of the

regional energy project at the same table to explain the

specifics and mechanics of the feasibility studies.  Even

privately to PolOff, Salgo declined to speculate as to why

SNC-Lavalin failed to visit Afghanistan or Tajikistan.  Asked if

they planned to visit, he only shrugged.  "I assume so."  A

project officer for the Asian Development Bank attended for the

first part of the meeting, but left at the coffee break.

9.  (C) Jones told PolOff during the coffee break that their

visit to Tajikistan was intended to make contacts and create

relationships, so they could be in touch over e-mail for future

questions and research.  And how would Fieldstone and Nexant

verify that the information provided by the Tajik government was

accurate?  Jones looked at PolOff with raised eyebrows.  "Good

question."

Comment

---------------

10.  (C) It was clear that only a few Tajik officials understood

the purpose of the roundtable, or specific goals of the project.

 Everyone showed enthusiasm for exports, but despite Sharma's

Herculean efforts to bring the discussion to concrete steps and

questions, the Tajiks still talked very broadly about the need

for foreign investors to increase power generation capacity.

Hopefully, Tajik decision makers will eventually digest and

debate the tough questions Sharma and the consultants posed.

However, the absence of Ghulomov and the nominal participation

by Gulov and Samiev indicates that even if the deputy-level

ministers understand the mechanics of the regional export

project, the highest officials are still working off a different

page, where big new dams are more important than power purchase

agreements and commercial viability.

11.  (C) The effectiveness of the consultants will be limited if

they do not put their time in on the ground.  Tajikistan is not

yet on the information superhighway, and few government

officials communicate by e-mail.  Neither Barki Tojik nor the

Minister of Energy and Industry has enough decent

English-speakers to maintain meaningful cooperative

correspondence.  Further, the Soviet habit of fudging numbers

makes state-issued statistics questionable in the best of

circumstances, let alone when the government is desperately

trying to secure international funding for its hydro-sector.

Due diligence will be essential, and it cannot be conducted

long-distance.

JACOBSON

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

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UNCLAS DUSHANBE 000640

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, KDEM, TI

SUBJECT: TAJIKISTAN:  POLITICAL PARTY NARROWLY ESCAPES CLOSURE

1.  (SBU)  Rahmatullo Zoyirov, Chairman of the Social Democratic

Party of Tajikistan, breathed a sigh of relief when on April 24

the Supreme Court acquitted him of charges of not properly

reporting on his party's activities and providing the necessary

documents to the Ministry of Justice.

2.  (SBU)  In January of 2007, the Ministry of Justice demanded

the Social Democratic Party's documents from Zoyirov including

financial records, tax documents, and an annual report of its

activities.  Instead of directly submitting the documents to the

Ministry of Justice, Zoyirov published the information in the

national media.  On March 5 the Ministry of Justice sent a

written letter to the Social Democratic Party's office warning

the party that if it did not submit all documents within ten

days the Ministry of Justice would suspend the party's

operations.

3.  (SBU)  Zoyirov contends that he never received the letter

and therefore could not comply with the request.  Zoyirov said

he visited the Ministry of Justice at least ten times between

December 2006 and March 2007 and questioned why none of his

interlocutors ever asked him for any documents during their

meetings.  Prior to the court hearing, Zoyirov met with PolOff

April 20 to discuss his party's latest problem, but expressed

confidence that he would win the case.  On April 24, the Supreme

Court found Zoyirov not guilty.

4.  (SBU)   Why would the government go to the trouble of

prosecuting Zoyirov only to find him not guilty?  Over the past

several weeks, Zoyirov has publicly issued strong statements

criticizing the government.  Zoyirov announced a new Alternative

Development Strategy for Tajikistan which prioritizes

legislative and political reform.  Newspapers published his

comments criticizing the current National Development Strategy

for not tackling corruption and organized crime and only

focusing on economic development.  He is also assisting and

advocating on behalf of Dushanbe residents who are in danger of

being displaced from their homes under a city re-zoning plan.

Irked by Zoyirov's meddling, Mayor Ubaidolloyev publicly said

that Zoyirov should mind his own business and stick to politics

rather than focus on economic developments.  According to

Zoyirov, Ubaidolloyev stated in a public meeting, "I will show

him."

5.  (SBU)  COMMENT:  Zoyirov is the preeminent constitutional

lawyer in Tajikistan and used to serve as President Rahmon's

legal advisor on constitutional matters.  In fact, he helped

write the constitution.  His knowledge of the law and good

connections with the Supreme Court judges whom he considers to

be colleagues, no doubt helped him fight against the

government's desire to shut down the party.  The government

likely intended the court case as a warning to Zoyirov that his

outspoken criticism is not welcome, and that at any time, it can

pull the plug on his party.  END COMMENT.

JACOBSON

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

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RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 2075

RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 2081

RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 2103

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1442

RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1959

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

UNCLAS DUSHANBE 000643

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, TI

SUBJECT: TAJIK MINISTRY OF INTERIOR OFFICIALS EVICT RESIDENTS, TAKE

OVER BUILDING

1.  On April 26 Ministry of Interior officials forcefully

evicted residents who illegally occupied a rundown 52-unit

building in Dushanbe.  When PolOff arrived on the scene, at

least 30 police officers had surrounded the area, and one fire

truck and an ambulance were poised and ready for emergencies.

Women and children, blankets and carpets were scattered cross

the area surrounding the building.  Despite residents' protests,

officials removed all belongings from their apartments and

loaded them along with the residents onto open-top trucks.

According to a colonel who was in charge of the eviction, the

government will relocate residents to their hometowns as

indicated on their internal passports.  Most residents

originally came from the south, but some will be sent back to as

far away as the Gorno-Badakhshan region.  The residents were

internally displaced persons who arrived in Dushanbe after the

end of the civil war to find jobs.

2.  Residents were visibly upset, but also helpless to act.  One

woman threatened to set herself on fire in protest rather than

be evicted.  The Ministry of Interior colonel overseeing the

eviction responded with: "Let her burn."  This indifferent

comment was made right in front of PolOff and certainly explains

the fire truck and ambulance.  Fortunately, the woman did not

set herself on fire in the end and no other violent incidents

occurred, although some officers did walk around with billy

clubs and undoubtedly were prepared to use them.  The eviction

proceeding began in 2006 and officers said that in November 2006

one woman did indeed set herself on fire in protest.  The media

did not report on the incident.

3.  Such severe acts reflect the residents' desperation.  The

building the residents lived in had no windows or locks on the

doors, no running water or electricity.  Most of the squatters

arrived approximately five to six years ago with families and

small children and have no relatives in the capital and no

alternative places to reside.  Being evicted and forcefully

moved back to their hometowns means that they will lose their

jobs and any income they may have earned in Dushanbe.

4.  Residents told PolOff the building in question and an

adjacent building belonged to an opposition supporter during the

civil war who is now in prison.  In early April, a Tajik court

decided that his properties now belong to the government.  The

Ministry of Interior received permission to renovate the

buildings into apartments for needy Ministry of Interior

officials.

5.  COMMENT:  Although the residents were indeed squatters, the

justice system's decision to give the building to the Ministry

of Interior brings into question whether or not the decision is

legal.  It is likely that the court system found "technical

errors" in the owner's documentation and deemed the property

illegally owned in the first place.  So far, no one has disputed

the court's decision.  Although the building is not located in

zone one, where officials are slowly evicting residents to

accommodate a new city plan, this latest incident compounds

Dushanbe citizens' fears and anger towards authorities trying to

take over their homes.  In numerous other cases, city

authorities have seized buildings or property seemingly at will

without regard to finding a reasonable solution for residents.

END COMMENT.

JACOBSON

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

id: 106348

date: 4/30/2007 17:10

refid: 07DUSHANBE646

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED

destination:

header:

VZCZCXRO1497

RR RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG

DE RUEHDBU #0646 1201710

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 301710Z APR 07

FM AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0173

INFO RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 1980

RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1951

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1882

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS 1217

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 1841

RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 2104

RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 2076

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1814

RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA 0153

RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 2082

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1611

RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1630

RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1778

RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1960

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1443

RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 0155

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

UNCLAS DUSHANBE 000646

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EB/TPP/IPE BOGER AND URBAN

STATE FOR SCA/CEN

STATE PLS PASS NSC MCKIBBEN

STATE PLS PASS USTR DONNELLY, ERRION, JCHOE-GROVES, MCCOY

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ECON, ETRD, KIPR, TI

SUBJECT: WE'RE STILL SPECIAL - 301 WATCH LIST POINTS DELIVERED TO

TAJIK OFFICIALS

REF: STATE 056553; DUSHANBE 06 2107

1.  Post delivered talking points in Reftel A to Tajik

government officials April 30 regarding Tajikistan's maintaining

its "Watch List" status on the Special 301 Report for 2007.

EconOffs personally delivered points to Alisher Karimov, Deputy

Head of Customs Control in the Customs Service and Gennady

Koupai, First Deputy Director of the National Patent Information

Center, Ministry of Economy and Trade.  In addition, post is

delivering the translated points via dipnote to the Ministry of

Foreign Affairs.

2.  Tajikistan got a head-start on next year's Special 301

report by signing into law on March 27 new measures that Koupai

claims will bring Tajikistan's IPR regime into conformity with

the TRIPS agreement.  The government is currently translating

the legislation into English.

3.  The Customs Service has moved from the Ministry of State

Revenues and Tax Collection to a stand-alone agency, and Karimov

reiterated his request (Reftel B) for support to train and equip

customs officials for intellectual property rights enforcement.

Koupai recently traveled to the U.S. on a U.S. Patent and

Trademark Office program on intellectual property rights, and is

an excellent interlocutor on patent and copyright issues.  He

expressed satisfaction at Tajikistan's placement on the 301

Watch List, and expressed thanks to the U.S. government for its

support on intellectual property rights issues.

4.  While Tajikistan has passed significant new legislation over

the past year to protect intellectual property, Tajikistan has

taken few practical steps to enforce the legislation and defend

intellectual property rights.  Several crackdowns on local CD

shops notwithstanding, local authorities have few resources to

go after violators, and can use USG assistance in training and

equipping Ministry of Interior and Customs Service officers.

JACOBSON

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

id: 107001

date: 5/7/2007 6:26

refid: 07DUSHANBE675

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED

destination:

header:

VZCZCXRO7057

RR RUEHDBU

DE RUEHDBU #0675 1270626

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 070626Z MAY 07

FM AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0206

INFO RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 1883

RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK 0786

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

UNCLAS DUSHANBE 000675

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR SCA/CEN HILLMEYER AND SCA/RA BRENNIG

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PHUM, PREL, SNAR, TI, KR

SUBJECT: TAJIK AND KYRGYZ LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL FOR VETTING

1. This is an action cable.  See paragraph 4.

2. Post has been asked to conduct a human rights review for the

following Tajik and Kyrgyz personnel appointed to attend the

International Narcotics Enforcement Management Seminar in

Florida on June 5-21, 2007 organized by the Department of

Justice and funded by the Drug Enforcement Administration:

A.  LAST NAME:  Gadoev

FIRST NAME:  Fayzullo

DOB:  04.02.1959

POB:  Tajikistan

PASSPORT #: Type: Service Passport; Code of state: TJK; Passport

 #: 005389

POSITION: Head of the Drug Enforcement Department of the MoI

AGENCY:  Ministry of Interior

B.  LAST NAME:  Otorbaev

FIRST NAME:  Daniyar

DOB:  22.09.1964

POB:  Kyrgyz Republic

PASSPORT #: S 02577

POSITION: Deputy Head of Operative-Investigation Bureau of the

KR DCA

AGENCY:  KR DCA

3. Post has no credible information of gross violations of human

rights by either of the listed participants.

4. Action requested:  Post requests that Department check the

names against its databases and inform Post if no derogatory

information was found.  Point of contact at Post is INL Officer

Ranjeet Singh at singhrk@state.gov.

JACOBSON

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

id: 107528

date: 5/10/2007 11:11

refid: 07DUSHANBE690

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED

destination:

header:

VZCZCXRO1064

RR RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG

DE RUEHDBU #0690/01 1301111

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 101111Z MAY 07 SBU

FM AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE

TO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 0156

RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0217

INFO RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 1984

RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1952

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1883

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS 1218

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 2109

RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 2080

RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA 0154

RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 2084

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC

RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1631

RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1963

RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 1898

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 DUSHANBE 000690

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

COMMERCE/ITA FOR RISD

COMMERCE/ITA FOR DYCK

COMMERCE/ITA FOR SABIT

STATE FOR SCA/CEN

STATE FOR EB

ASTANA PLEASE PASS TO SCO STU SCHAAG

ALMATY PASS TO SABIT/ASHKENOVA

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, ECON, EFIN, TI, AF, KG, UZ, KZ

SUBJECT: PROVING WHY SABIT IS "SPECIAL" IN TAJIKISTAN

REF: NONE

DUSHANBE 00000690  001.2 OF 003

1.  (U) Summary: We may be neighbors, but we aren't well

connected.  This theme underscored a Central Asian

Transportation Infrastructure Conference May 7, sponsored by the

U.S. Department of Commerce along with Embassy Dushanbe, to

highlight the Special American Business Internship Training

program (SABIT) contribution to the transportation sector.  The

conference provided an opportunity for Central Asian transport

representatives to discuss their accomplishments and challenges

within their respective transport sectors, along with the

potential for future cooperation and growth.  Over 15 conference

participants had previously received training through the SABIT

program, demonstrating the results of this high-impact exchange

program.  Representatives from Tajikistan, Afghanistan,

Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan focused on improving aviation and road

construction efforts to integrate Central and South Asia.  The

high level of participation -- more than 80 attendees --

demonstrated the desire for economic integration in the region

and building/renovating roads between Kazakhstan and Karachi.

Participants displayed some unwillingness to answer hard

questions in the large-group forum.  However, the conference met

its goals in side conversations as private companies talked

contracts, airport managers traded experiences, and weary

travelers swapped stories.  End Summary.

2.  (U)  Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for

Europe Paul Dyck opened the conference by explaining the U.S.

government desire to expand U.S. trade links with Central Asia,

while reducing trade and investment barriers through initiatives

such as the Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework

Agreement (TIFA).  He also highlighted our mutual goal to create

a regional electricity market, improve customs regimes and

border security, and integrate telecom systems.  Tajik Deputy

Minister of Transportation Djumahon Zuhurov thanked the U.S.

government for these initiatives, which he agreed would cut

poverty and raise the standard of living for all Central Asians.

3.  (U)  The problems incoming visitors faced trying to get to

the conference displayed perfectly the infrastructure challenges

the region faces.  Two Department of Commerce representatives

missed their connecting flight from Frankfurt to Istanbul, and

had to take the next flight - three days later - to Dushanbe.

Visa problems prevented an Afghan participant and a Uzbek

citizen representative from U.S. Embassy Tashkent from coming at

all.  U.S. representatives emphasized that these difficulties

prevent businesspeople from coming here and stifle foreign

investment.

Constructing New Roads in Central Asia

--------------------------------------------- ------------

4.  (U)  Kubanychbek Mamaev from the Kyrgyz Ministry of

Transportation and Communication noted that companies face

severe weather in renovating roads in Central Asia; many roads

go though mountainous terrain whose high altitudes are more

susceptible to storms and avalanches.  However, others described

the large amounts of foreign investment in road projects here.

Erkinbek Zhumaliyev from the Bishkek-Osh road project stated

that the Islamic Development Bank, Asian Development Bank,

Japanese Investment Agency and a private Iranian company had

invested money to build new roads in Kyrgyzstan, which would

integrate different agrarian areas and increase their access to

other regional markets.

5.  (U)  Galina Tarakanova from the Kazakh company

"Kazdorproyekt" explained that the Saudi Development Fund, Asian

Development Bank, and Louis Berger were funding ongoing road

construction projects in Kazakhstan, which would link and

DUSHANBE 00000690  002.2 OF 003

increase trade between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and

Pakistan.  One problem that these companies faced was Soviet-era

standards and infrastructure, which these companies had started

to replace and upgrade.

Developing Air Travel and Renovating Airports

--------------------------------------------- --------------

------

6.  (U)  Mirzomuddin Anvarov, Director of the Dushanbe Airport,

described ongoing French-funded efforts to renovate Dushanbe

airport. He stated that the airport's current capacity of 200

passengers per hour was not sufficient, which they wished to

increase to 300 or 350 passengers per hour.  He also described

(with help from the French Ambassador) French plans to build a

new terminal at Dushanbe's airport, to construct a second

runway, and to increase the airport's ability to transport cargo

equipment.  The director recognized the high price of Tajik Air

tickets for many Tajik citizens, but argued that they could not

lower prices without losing money, due to the high prices of

fuel and spare parts.

7.  (U)  Uzifulla Azhmoldaev, the vice president of Astana

International Airport, described the recent Japanese-funded

renovations in Astana which drastically increased its number of

international flight destinations.  Talaibek Okenov, from the

Kyrgyzstan-based "Central Asian Aviation Associates," described

the need for most Central Asian nations to upgrade their fleet

by purchasing new aircraft.  He specifically named Turkmenistan

and Uzbekistan as having strong aviation sectors, since they had

acquired newer Boeing aircraft.  One of the challenges after

acquiring these newer aircraft, however, was the need to train

pilots to operate their advanced technologies.  He described a

recent near-fatal accident at Manas International Airport which

he blamed on old and outdated equipment.  The Director of the

Kabul International Airport, Najeeb Maqsoodi, and his U.S.

Federal Aviation Authority's Chuck Freisenhahn described a $6

million World Bank project, and an additional $35 million from

the Japanese government, to invest to further upgrade Kabul's

airport.  In the ensuing discussion, participants expressed

great interest in increased air links with Kabul.

The Road to Investment

----------------------------------

8.  (U)  Embassy Dushanbe's Business Information Service for the

Newly Independent States (BISNIS) representative discussed the

positives and negatives of the Tajik investment climate.  He

cited fiscal, labor and monetary freedom as investment

advantages in Tajikistan, while naming trade and business

freedoms, lack of property rights, corruption and lengthy

registration processes as existing impediments to more effective

trade.  He explained the main role of his office is to

facilitate the process for U.S. companies who wish to invest in

Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union, which has

resulted in more than $4 billion of U.S. exports and overseas

investments to date.

9.  (U)  Neeraj Jain, Tajik Country Director for the Asian

Development Bank (ADB), highlighted ADB's role in the

development of the Central Asian transport sector.  Over the

past ten years, ADB has provided $1.5 billion of assistance,

which has been used to build roads, railways and airports.  ADB

has also improved 3,250 kilometers of roads, or ten percent of

the Central Asian transport corridor, through the Central Asian

Regional Economic Cooperation Program, to better connect

DUSHANBE 00000690  003.2 OF 003

Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan with China, Uzbekistan and

Afghanistan.  He admitted that some impediments to progress were

weak road and border infrastructures, and a lack of modern

technical equipment.

10.  (U)  Assiya Alzhanova from the Almaty-based Small

Enterprise Assistance Fund discussed her company's role in

promoting entrepreneurship and innovation to small and

medium-sized enterprises in growing economies, to help them

maximize profitability.  Her company's main investors were the

International Finance Corporation, USAID, and the Kazakh

National Innovation Fund, which allowed her office to invest

between $200,000 and $1.5 million per company.  Elena Anfimova

of the International Road Transport Union highlighted the

administrative barriers that faced anyone trying to move goods

through the region.  EconOff gave the final presentation of the

day, describing an upcoming regional USAID initiative to

facilitate trade and ease customs procedures in Central Asia,

which would raise the level of competitiveness for international

trade in the region.

11.  (U)  South and Central Asia Bureau's Director for Central

Asia Pamela Spratlen in her closing remarks emphasized the U.S.

commitment in regional transportation infrastructure --

stretching from the Nizhniy Pyanj bridge opening this summer, to

various U.S.-funded conferences, to USAID development programs.

12.  (U)  Comment: A visiting Department of Commerce

representative asked participants to describe some of their

existing problems, or whether the current level of cooperation

between the Central Asian countries was sufficient to accomplish

the common goal of integrating the region.  An awkward minute of

silence passed after he asked this question, which displayed

participants' reticence or unwillingness to discuss the tough

questions publicly.  An exception occurred in an exchange when a

representative from Khujand's Airport in northern Tajikistan

asked an official from the Kyrgyz Ministry of Transportation

what the two countries could do to lower trade barriers and to

better facilitate the movement of goods between their borders.

The Kyrgyz official recognized that these problems existed, but

suggested that these would be problems "for the future."

13.  (U)  Continued U.S. support for development and reform in

the Central Asian transportation sector remains necessary to

keep the dialogue going.  The SABIT Program and other exchange

and training programs are invaluable in creating a cadre of

leaders open to new ideas and willing to work together to

realize them.  This conference demonstrated that these leaders

share the goals of regional integration, and are actively

working towards them.  End Comment.

JACOBSON

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

id: 108535

date: 5/16/2007 16:55

refid: 07DUSHANBE723

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED

destination:

header:

VZCZCXRO7377

RR RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG

DE RUEHDBU #0723/01 1361655

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 161655Z MAY 07

FM AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0258

RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 0159

INFO RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 1992

RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1955

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1886

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS 1221

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 1948

RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 2119

RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 2088

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1816

RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA 0157

RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 2093

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1612

RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1634

RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1779

RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1966

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1444

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 DUSHANBE 000723

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

COMMERCE/ITA FOR RISD

COMMERCE/ITA FOR DYCK

STATE FOR SCA/CEN

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: EINV, ECON, PGOV, PREL, TI

SUBJECT: COMMERCE DEPARTMENT TO TAJIKISTAN: KEEP WORKING ON IT

DUSHANBE 00000723  001.2 OF 003

1.  Summary:  In a series of high-level government meetings in

Dushanbe May 6-9, Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant

Secretary for Europe and Eurasia Paul Dyck drilled home the

SIPDIS

message about providing a stable and open business environment

in order to attract foreign investment.  In return, Tajiks

plugged the country's macroeconomic and political stability and

opportunities for investment in Tajikistan's energy sector.

2.  Dyck worked the Tajik-Afghan portion of the Silk Road,

discussing cross-border trade and traveling to the U.S.-funded

Nizhniy Pyanj bridge.  Meanwhile, private companies gathered for

an ebullient founder's dinner for an American Chamber of

Commerce in Tajikistan, which we hope will result in the

establishment of a local AmCham.  We used all the events to

emphasize that investment will come to Tajikistan only when the

business climate improves.  Unfortunately, the final meeting at

the State Committee for Investments demonstrated that Tajikistan

is likely a long way from making meaningful changes. End Summary.

3.  Pulod Mukiddinov, First Deputy Minister of Energy and

Industry, fished for U.S. interest in Tajik energy projects.

Mukiddinov mentioned that 16 companies have expressed interest

in the May 27-29 coal and thermal energy investment conference

in Dushanbe.  While hydropower remains the government's main

focus, Tajikistan views its coal resources as a quick solution

to some of its energy

Источник: ИА "Авеста"
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