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Источник изображения: ИА "Авеста"

Выпуск-54

id: 109590

date: 5/24/2007 12:25

refid: 07DUSHANBE762

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

destination: 07STATE54097

header:

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PP RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG

DE RUEHDBU #0762 1441225

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

P R 241225Z MAY 07

FM AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0309

INFO RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC

RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE

RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 2095

RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 2126

RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 2100

RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 2006

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

UNCLAS DUSHANBE 000762

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ECON, ECIN, EFIN, ECPS, EINV, ETRD, EAID, KG, TI

SUBJECT: TAJIKS SUPPORT FIBER OPTICS CONFERENCE, BUT WANT "EQUAL

OPPORTUNITIES" FOR STATE OPERATOR

REF: STATE   00054097

1.  (SBU) Tajikistan supports the idea of a U.S.-organized

conference on regional fiber optic projects (reftel), but

Minister of Transportation and Communications Adburahim Ashurov

expressed greater interest in more international assistance to

support the state-owned operator Tojiktelecom.  Ashurov

encouraged the development of a regional fiber optics network to

create additional opportunities for Tajikistan as a transit

country and asked for an official letter laying out the project.

2.  (SBU)  In a May 21 meeting with EmbOffs, Ashurov asked for

more technical assistance and training for telecom specialists

at Tojiktelecom.  Ashurov wants to protect the national company

by providing it with international assistance and possible

infrastructure investment.  He noted that although Tojiktelecom

owns all the existing landlines and telecom infrastructure in

Tajikistan, a lack of financial resources and lack of market

transparency make the company uncompetitive on the local market.

 Ashurov and Tojiktelecom head Rahmonali Hasanov criticized the

13 mobile phone operators for "filling their pockets and

cheating clients" with confusing tariff plans, while failing to

expand to rural areas.  Ashurov argued that the government, not

the private operators should be setting tariffs.

3.  (SBU)  Ashurov acknowledged that in his first sixth months

heading the communications ministry, he has sought out

specialists to work on regulatory issues, but the sector still

does not have the proper regulation or enough technical experts.

 (Note: As the former Minister of Transportation, he was

appointed head of the combined ministry in December 2006.  End

note.)  He appreciated his staff's inclusion in an April U.S.

Trade and Development Agency forum on regulation in Almaty, and

promised that an outstanding letter requesting technical

assistance was still in the works, but he wanted to expand the

scope of the request beyond regulation to all aspects of

telecom.

4.  (SBU)  Leading telecom companies in Tajikistan support the

fiber optics but have told EmbOffs that there are technical and

policy issues to be resolved first.  Chinese companies have

already been actively engaged with Bablion and Tojiktelecom on

ways to link Tajikistan to the rest of the world without relying

on routes through Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

5.  (SBU)  Comment:  Bringing Tajikistan fully on board with a

regional fiber optic project will require a great deal of

education and technical assistance, both to the government and

private operators.  Ashurov and other Tajik officials will have

to overcome their instincts to protect the uncompetitive

state-owned Tojiktelecom and instead learn to promote private

operators -- who in fact pay more tax revenues to the government

than any other industry.  End Comment.

JACOBSON

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

id: 109704

date: 5/25/2007 3:10

refid: 07DUSHANBE764

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

destination: 07Dushanbe262

header:

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RR RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG

DE RUEHDBU #0764 1450310

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FM AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0310

INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC

RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 2096

RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 2127

RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 2101

RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR 0008

RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 2008

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

UNCLAS DUSHANBE 000764

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A

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

SUBJECT: TAJIK NGO LAW NOT AS BAD AS IT COULD HAVE BEEN~BUT STILL NOT

GREAT

REF: Dushanbe 262

1.  (SBU) Tajikistan finally has an official new law on

non-governmental organizations. After multiple drafts, months of

negotiations and parliamentary discussions, diplomatic

interventions and civil society hand-wringing, President Rahmon

signed the Law on Public Associations May 12.  However, the

final version was not considered official -or available to the

public -- until published in a state-run Tajik language

newspaper May 19.  The official Russian version has not yet been

released.

2.  (SBU) The new law took into consideration a number of

concerns post and other donors had actively raised with the

government:

-- It eliminated the proposed requirement that international

NGOs such as Mercy Corps, CARE, Internews, and other long-time

U.S. implementing partners, register with both the Ministry of

Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice.  Given that

administrative red tape is a favorite Tajik government tactic to

stall or unofficially to deny organizations the ability to

operate, this leaves the bureaucratic hurdles some organizations

will face the same as before.

-- The parliament removed a proposed requirement that any

organization manager be a Tajik citizen, which would have

effectively eliminated expat leadership from the bigger

organizations.  There are fewer restrictions on the rights of

foreign citizens to participate in public association.

-- The final version no longer gives the government unlimited

access to all NGO training programs and internal meetings, but

still allows authorities access to "mass events" (undefined).

-- The "registering authority," in most cases the Ministry of

Justice, cannot suspend the activities of an NGO without a court

order, and investigations of violations should be conducted

through the prosecutors' offices.

-- The final version also eliminated a "territorial" requirement

in the draft that in some cases would have meant that an

organization would need to register in each individual district.

3.  (SBU)  However, some remaining provisions still raise

concerns:

-- A broad range of grounds for denying registration to a public

association, which would allow bureaucrats and security services

to refuse registration without much explanation.

-- For international NGOs, all full-time staff -- international

and local -- must be accredited with the Ministry of Foreign

Affairs after the organization is registered.  Given the

Ministry's lack of organization, this adds yet another

administrative requirement for our implementing partners.

-- Unregistered organizations are not allowed to conduct any

activities until they have been fully registered.  This would

affect National Democratic Institute, which has been operating

without registration for its entire tenure in Tajikistan.

4.  (SBU) Under the new law, all public associations and

non-governmental organizations must re-register with the

Ministry of Justice, free of charge, by January 2008.  Muatar

Kahdirova, of the International Center for Non-Profit Law noted

that the new law took into account many of the comments conveyed

to the parliament by her organization and others.  However, she

anticipated that some of the wording would leave international

NGOs open to greater scrutiny by the Ministry of Justice and the

Ministry of Interior.

5.  (SBU) COMMENT:  Although local organizations did little to

advocate for themselves, Post worked very hard to make the Tajik

government understand the ramifications of the restrictive draft

law for international groups.  We are pleased the government

incorporated a number of suggestions into the final version, but

the NGO saga is far from over.  The overall operating

environment has not changed; nor have many of the ministries

making life hard for our implementing partners.  We anticipate

we will need to continue to engage the government on the

importance of non-governmental organizations for strengthening

civil society and promoting economic stability.  END COMMENT.

JACOBSON

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

id: 110147

date: 5/30/2007 10:38

refid: 07DUSHANBE776

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED

destination:

header:

VZCZCXRO9746

RR RUEHDBU

DE RUEHDBU #0776/01 1501038

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 301038Z MAY 07

FM AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE

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INFO RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 2026

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DUSHANBE 000776

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SCA HILLMEYER AND BRENNIG

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PHUM, PREL, SNAR, TI

SUBJECT: LEAHY VETTING FOR TAJIK LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS

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

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

following participants from various Tajik law enforcement

agencies appointed to attend "Precursor control in Central Asia"

and "Regional Cooperation in Precursor Control between

Afghanistan and Neighboring countries" training courses

organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

(UNODC).  UNODC plans to conduct the trainings in Dushanbe on

11-15 June 2007 with the participation of French partners.

A.  LAST NAME:  Zamirov

FIRST NAME:  Farmonbek

DOB:  08.12.1951

POB:  Tajikistan

POSITION: Operational officer of the mobile department

AGENCY:  Drug Control Agency

B.  LAST NAME:  Habibulaev

FIRST NAME: Timur

DOB:  16.09.1980

POB:  Tajikistan

POSITION: Operational officer of the operational investigation

department

AGENCY:  Drug Control Agency

C.  LAST NAME:  Huseynova

FIRST NAME:  Mijgona

DOB:  23.04.1982

POB:  Tajikistan

POSITION: Inspector of the department of the drug and precursor

control

AGENCY:  Drug Control Agency

D.  LAST NAME:  Djaborov

FIRST NAME:  Furkatjon

DOB:  16.02.1983

POB:  Tajikistan

POSITION:  Senior inspector of the department against customs

infringements

AGENCY: Customs Service

E.  LAST NAME:  Gayurov

FIRST NAME:  Anomudin

DOB:  05.02.1959

POB:  Tajikistan

POSITION: Customs Service

F.  LAST NAME:  Rizaev

FIRST NAME:  Dilshod

DOB:  07.09.1983

POB:  Tajikistan

POSITION: Inspector of the regional Customs department for

Tursunzade

AGENCY:  Customs Service

G.  LAST NAME: Kosymov

FIRST NAME:  Iskandar

DOB:  13.07.1959

POB: Tajikistan

POSITION: Operational officer of the drug control department

AGENCY:  Ministry of Interior

H.  LAST NAME: Zukhurov

FIRST NAME:  Shamsiddin

DOB: 10.02.1975

POB:  Tajikistan

POSITION: Senior operational officer of the drug control

department

AGENCY:  Ministry of Interior

I.  LAST NAME:  Karaev

FIRST NAME: Abduvahob

DOB:  21.04.1966

POB:  Tajikistan

POSITION: Officer of the State Border Guards department

AGENCY:  State Committee on National Security

J.  LAST NAME:  Gafurov

FIRST NAME:  Davron

DOB:  23.01.1976

POB:  Tajikistan

POSITION: Officer of the State Border Guards department

AGENCY:  State Committee on National Security

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

rights by any of the listed participants.

4. Action requested:  Post kindly requests that Department check

the names against its databases and inform Post if no derogatory

DUSHANBE 00000776  002 OF 002

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

Ranjeet Singh at singhrk@state.gov.

JACOBSON

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

id: 110169

date: 5/30/2007 12:12

refid: 07DUSHANBE778

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

destination: 07DUSHANBE778

header:

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PP RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG

DE RUEHDBU #0778/01 1501212

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

P R 301212Z MAY 07

FM AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0329

INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE

RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 2097

RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 2102

RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 2129

RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR 0009

RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE 0004

RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI 0007

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 2029

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DUSHANBE 000778

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A

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

SUBJECT: IN TAJIKISTAN, A LUMP OF COAL IS NOT SUCH A BAD THING

REF: Dushanbe 637

DUSHANBE 00000778  001.2 OF 002

1. (SBU) SUMMARY:  Nothing would please the Tajik government

more than big lumps of coal in their stockings this Christmas,

preferably from a U.S.-financed mine that fuels a thermal power

station.   At a May 29 roundtable meeting on "Integrated

Development of Coal and Power Projects and Reconstruction of

Thermal Power Plants for Coal Fuel" sponsored by the Tajik

Ministry of Energy and Industry, investors, donors and the

government signed a declaration to study Tajikistan's coal

reserves, with an end goal of year-round electricity production

for domestic use and export.  The United States agreed to

consider reassigning Trade and Development Agency grant money

already allocated to Tajikistan for a coal-related feasibility

study, should the Ministry submit a sensible proposal that

supports our regional energy goals.  END SUMMARY.

2.  (SBU) At the day-long meeting, the Ministry had a focused

agenda and concrete answers to donor questions about feasibility

and goals.  After opening remarks by Minister of Energy Sherali

Gulov, Deputy Prime Minister Asadullo Ghulomov included in his

own comments specific references to a May 28 meeting with SCA

Senior Advisor Bob Deutsch (septel), noting that Tajikistan was

ready to comply with all international standards on power

purchase agreements.  "We commit ourselves to upgrading Tajik

law in those areas where we do not meet international norms."

Deputy Minister of Energy Pulod Mukhiddinov outlined

Tajikistan's coal potential, notably deposits at Fon Yaghnob,

Nazar Aylok and Ziddi, and the possibility of converting

gas-powered thermal stations in Dushanbe and Yavan to

coal-fueled.  All noted that despite rich hydropower potential,

coal-powered electricity would help meet the demand during

Tajikistan's winter months, when most of the country sits in the

dark, and help meet year-round export commitments.

3.  (SBU) Prospective investors made presentations about their

interest and experience in the coal sector.  Presenters included

the U.S. firm AES, Russia's RAO UES, three Kazakh firms, (one

having already invested $1 million in a Tajik coal field), a

British consultant, and Chinese equipment manufacturers.  Among

the conference's 80 participants were local representatives from

the major international financial institutions -- World Bank,

Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and

Development, International Finance Corporation, Islamic

Development Bank, Eurasian Development Bank -- plus

Washington-based World Bank Energy advisor Raghu Sharma.

4.  (SBU) At the end of the meeting, which finished a remarkable

five hours ahead of schedule,  Sharma and Ghulomov facilitated a

discussion of the next steps to developing the coal sector and

finalized a "conclusions" declaration, which outlined

participants' intent and narrowed the focus to the Fon Yaghnob

deposit and possible rehabilitation of the Dushanbe and Yavan

stations.  The declaration included commitments to uphold

environmental and safety standards and create a "shell company"

based on an Indian model that would obtain the necessary

clearance and conduct the feasibility studies, and then be

transferred to the private investor selected to develop the

project.

5.  (SBU) Ghulomov repeated a previous appeal to the U.S.

government to reallocate TDA grant money to a coal feasibility

study; based on Deutsch's earlier meetings with Ghulomov,

Pol/Econ chief agreed that this would be possible if there were

a concrete proposal that supported U.S. regional electricity

goals, including developing an electricity source that could

provide Afghanistan with year-round power.

6. (SBU) In a likely effort to demonstrate strong government

commitment to the project, the Tajiks trotted out other economic

heavy hitters, including the chairman of the Tajik Aluminum

Company, the head of Tajik State Savings Bank, the deputy of

Orien Bank (Tajikistan's largest commercial financial

institution), the Minister of Economic Development, the

Presidential Advisor on Energy (and former Minister of Energy),

and most of the Ministry of Energy and Industry.

7.  (SBU) Comment: The concrete goals and presentations of this

meeting contrasted sharply with the April roundtable for

consultants on a regional electricity trade project (reftel)

where Tajik officials remained in the realm of the theoretical,

making the pitch for any and all generation projects.  Ghulomov,

who missed the last meeting due to medical treatment, was active

DUSHANBE 00000778  002.2 OF 002

and engaged in the discussion, and seemed to have taken

Deutsch's comments about international standard agreements to

heart.  He assured investors and donors that Tajikistan was

ready to move forward quickly to ensure that thermal-generated

electricity could be part of the regional electricity trade.  We

hope he means it.  End Comment.

JACOBSON

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

id: 110444

date: 6/1/2007 5:31

refid: 07DUSHANBE783

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

destination: 07DUSHANBE783

header:

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DE RUEHDBU #0783/01 1520531

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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0335

INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE

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RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 2104

RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 2132

RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR 0011

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RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 2039

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DUSHANBE 000783

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A

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

SUBJECT: TAJIKISTAN MUST COMPLY WITH INTERNATIONAL NORMS TO SUCCEED

IN ENERGY TRADE

DUSHANBE 00000783  001.2 OF 002

1.  (SBU)  Summary. Tajikistan needs to take steps to sign and

abide by international standard agreements if it wants to

develop its electricity sector through exports to Afghanistan

and beyond.  In a series of meetings with top energy and

economic officials May 28, Senior Advisor for Regional Economic

Integration Robert Deutsch and Senior Advisor for Afghan Private

Investment Ed Smith delivered a clear message to the Tajik

government: Tajikistan cannot do business as usual, with

bureaucratic hurdles and fuzzy legal agreements, if it wants to

attract private investment or international financing.

2.  (SBU)  Deutsch reiterated U.S. support for Tajikistan's

energy sector and interest in the development of Tajikistan's

coal sector in order to provide year-round electricity for

domestic use and export.  He noted that U.S. Trade and

Development Agency grant money already given to Tajikistan for a

regional project could be transferred to study coal development,

if the Tajik government presented a clear and sensible plan.  At

a May 29 meeting for investors and donors on coal (septel), the

message had clearly sunk in, when Tajikistan's Energy Czar,

Deputy Prime Minister Asadullo Ghulomov, repeatedly pledged

Tajikistan would meet all international standards in the energy

sector. End Summary.

3.  (SBU)  In meetings with Presidential Advisor for Economic

Policy Matlubkhon Davlatov, Minister of Energy and Industry

Sherali Gulov, Deputy Prime Minister Asadullo Ghulomov, and

Minister of Transportation and Communications Abdurahim Ashurov,

Deutsch briefed the Tajik officials on the May 22-23

Multi-Country Working Group meeting in Jeddah concerning

regional energy trade.  The Jeddah meeting set out key issues to

ensure that the working group made progress towards trading 1000

megawatts of electricity from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to

Afghanistan and Pakistan -- a project know as "Central Asia

South Asia (CASA) 1000."  One critical step will be

demonstrating commitment to a higher standard of transparency

and contracting by signing a solid power purchase agreement

between Tajikistan and Afghanistan for their bilateral

electricity trade to enable ABD financing for the

interconnection.  (Note:  The Afghans have proposed a standard

power purchase agreement, to which the Tajiks had responded that

they preferred to continue previous month-to-month arrangements

that were governed by memoranda of understanding and Tajik law.

End Note.)  Deutsch's message to the Tajik officials centered on

the following points:

--  A USTDA grant from June 2006, intended to study transmission

networks to Afghanistan, could be used instead to study the

feasibility of coal, provided the Tajiks had a comprehensive

plan of action.

-- The United States could support Tajikistan's energy sector in

several other ways: Overseas Private Investment Corporation

(OPIC) would be available for insurance and financing if U.S.

companies participated in the project.  Export-Import Bank of

the United States (EXIM) is closed to Tajikistan but could

potentially support a third party purchaser, like Pakistan.

-- Although Tajikistan had successfully sold power to

Afghanistan on a monthly basis under the framework of a simple

memorandum of understanding, international financiers and

investors require a more definitive agreement on supply and

export prices that includes a mechanism for neutral dispute

resolution.  Tajikistan must be prepared to sign specific,

binding agreements that go beyond Tajik law and adhere to

international standards.

-- Providing electricity to Afghanistan is a U.S. policy

priority, but the United States will not invest in mega-projects

like the proposed 4000 megawatt hydropower station at

Dhasti-Jhum.  The Tajik government will need to take many

smaller steps to establish a market and build investor

confidence in such projects over the coming years.

4.  (SBU)  Presidential Advisor Matlubkhon Davlatov called

energy a development priority and noted it was a regional, not

just a national issue.  In response to Deutsch and Smith's

nine-hour journey on bad roads (at times, off-road) to a coal

field in northern Tajikistan the day before, Davlatov observed

that Tajikistan would still need to develop its road and rail

infrastructure to use coal efficiently.  He promised to follow

DUSHANBE 00000783  002.2 OF 002

through on a draft power purchase agreement that Afghanistan had

sent to Tajikistan, and ensure that the Tajik side accepted the

standard international terms for selling electricity.

5.  (SBU)  Deutsch also raised Canargo, a U.S. firm trying to

sign an agreement with the Tajik government for gas exploration.

 When Davlatov suggested that the Tajik government would sign

the production sharing agreement after Canargo had done its

exploration, Deutsch reminded him that Western investors want

the terms in advance of the risks and investment.   Davlatov

said that Tajikistan would adhere to international business

norms, and when Tajik law did not match international standards,

they would change their laws.

Minister of Energy and Industry

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

6.  (SBU)  Minister of Energy and Industry Gulov thanked Deutsch

for his support for Tajikistan's coal sector and noted that a

U.S.-funded feasibility study would go a long way to ensure a

year-round supply of electricity for domestic use and export.

Like Davlatov, he also asked for U.S. assistance in developing

more generation capacity, particularly a hydropower station at

Dhasti-Jhum.  Gulov also pledged to clear up a

"misunderstanding" on the draft power purchase agreement with

Afghanistan, and ensure that it included international dispute

resolution and a long term-commitment to supply power at

established rates.

Deputy Prime Minister Ghulomov

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

7.  (SBU)  As Tajikistan's key official for energy and

industrial policy, Ghulomov assured Deutsch that Tajikistan

would meet all international standards to ensure the regional

electricity project was successful.  Because the electricity

supply situation could change in 2008, when Sangtuda-I comes on

line, Ghulomov said he was reluctant to commit Tajikistan now to

an agreement with Afghanistan, but understood that for

international financing, they would fulfill the expected legal

obligations.  He observed that even if Tajikistan had the 1000

megawatts to export now, Afghanistan did not yet have a

distribution network to take the power.  "The Afghans have

colossal work ahead of them."

8.  (SBU)  Moving beyond the CASA 1000 project, Ghulomov pitched

key points in Tajikistan's energy dreams, including the need for

a second high voltage line to Pakistan that would carry

electricity produced at new generation projects, like

Dhasti-Jhum.  He noted that the May 29 coal conference would be

an important step in developing year-round electricity and that

Tajikistan needed more help in the coal sector.

Minister of Transportation and Communication

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

9.  (SBU)  Minister Ashurov repeated comments from the other

three officials thanking the United States for the bridge at

Nizhniy Pyanj.  Calling it a significant step in linking Central

and South Asia, he looked forward to the proposed August

opening.  He welcomed the opportunity for Tajikistan to

participate in a fiber optic project to link the Central Asian

republics directly to global fiber optic networks, and he

promised that his telecommunications experts would provide full

information on Tajikistan's infrastructure and plans for further

discussion of regional fiber optic interconnections.

10.  (SBU)  COMMENT:   Deutsch's visit was a timely reminder to

Tajik officials that although the United States strongly

supports Tajikistan's energy sector development, Soviet-style

business practices will not help them build regional electricity

networks or attract financing and investment.  Whether his

message sticks will only become clear if Tajikistan actually

signs the mountain of paperwork necessary for a successful power

purchase agreement.  The pleas for U.S. development of power

stations, specifically Dhasti-Jhum, were expected, and also

demonstrate that our emphasis on attracting private investment

through a more attractive business climate hasn't yet hit its

target.  The August bridge opening will be another opportunity

to reinforce that message.  END COMMENT.

JACOBSON

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

id: 110446

date: 6/1/2007 5:58

refid: 07DUSHANBE785

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED

destination:

header:

VZCZCXRO2157

OO RUEHDBU

DE RUEHDBU #0785 1520558

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

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RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC

RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 2044

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

UNCLAS DUSHANBE 000785

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/ACE

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: EAID, PGOV, PHUM, KDEM, TI

SUBJECT: NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY IN TAJIKISTAN:  NO

OVERSIGHT COULD LEAD TO NO PERFORMANCE

REF: (A) KRYSTEL-HUSHEK E-MAIL 5-30-2007

1.  Summary:  Embassy Dushanbe strongly opposes granting

National Endowment for Democracy funds in Tajikistan to the

"Center of Democratic Transformation" to open a Women's

Leadership School, as included in the June 2007 list of project

proposal (ref A).  This local non-governmental organization has

a history of non-performance and hostility toward Embassy

officers; and post recently had to terminate a Democracy

Commission grant because of non-performance and lack of results.

 End Summary

2.  The Center of Democratic Transformation received a Democracy

Commission grant in August 2006 to strengthen Tajikistan's

multi-party political system through the creation of a website

for political parties and organization of discussion roundtables

in northern Tajikistan.  After months of inactivity,

particularly in the critical period leading to Tajikistan's

presidential election in November 2006, the grant was terminated

in May 2007.

3.  When the embassy began exercising oversight on how the funds

were used, organization representatives began accusing the

embassy of "spying," and threatened to "tell the world" about

embassy corruption.  The Center for Democratic Transformation

failed to create a functional website and falsified the

attendance lists for the few seminars conducted.  As a result of

the non-performance, the embassy refused to pay the final grant

funds.  When EmbOffs flew from Dushanbe to visit the

organization's office in early May for a pre-arranged meeting,

the office was padlocked and the staff refused to communicate

further with EmbOffs.  During the extensive e-mail and phone

communications with the organization's director, Fatemah

Ahmedova, we learned she resides in England, and her brother

Akhmed Kadirov nominally runs activities in Khojand.

4.  ACTION REQUEST:  Embassy Dushanbe requests confirmation that

this project will not/not receive NED funding.

5.  Comment.  Our own experience with the Center for Democratic

Transformation is instructive for Washington-based organizations

who try to fund projects in Tajikistan without an in-country

presence or direct oversight.  Post has previously raised these

concerns about National Endowment for Democracy funded grants.

In general, NED too seldom consults with the Embassy and has

provided very little information on the activities and results

of its grants here.  The versions of the proposals which we do

see are typically written with generalized language and contain

no detailed breakdowns of budgets or proposed activities.  With

these limitations and in a country permeated by corruption, the

Embassy on its own can do very little to ensure accountability

for taxpayers' dollars.  The Embassy strongly supports NED's

goal of promoting democratic reform, which is also a top mission

priority.  However, we recommend NED consider how to exercise

more oversight and work more closely with the Embassy in order

to ensure its programs actually promote progress toward this

goal.   End Comment.

JACOBSON

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

id: 110526

date: 6/1/2007 13:11

refid: 07DUSHANBE786

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: CONFIDENTIAL

destination: 06DUSHANBE1434|06DUSHANBE1977|07DUSHANBE703

header:

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INFO RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC

RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

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RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR 0013

RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 2045

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

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 DUSHANBE 000786

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL:  6/1/2017

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

SUBJECT: PERSIAN POWER: TAJIKISTAN'S DEVELOPING TIES WITH IRAN

REF: A) 06 DUSHANBE 1434, B) DUSHANBE 703, C) 06 DUSHANBE 1977

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

Dushanbe, STATE.

REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1.  (C) SUMMARY:  Tajikistan has characterized its ties with

Iran as purely economic, but growing political, military and

diplomatic relations indicate that more than investment and

trade is bringing the two countries closer together.  In the

last eighteen months, Tajik President Rahmon and Iranian

President Ahmadinejad have made trips to each other's capitals

and signed a raft of agreements and declarations ranging from

education, science and culture to inter-parliamentary and

defense cooperation.

2.  (C) Rahmon's public rhetoric has always emphasized the

shared linguistic and cultural bonds, but his private rhetoric

lately has begun to include an element of political apology for

his neighbor and cultural kin.  Iranian assistance has also

trickled into impoverished rural areas, building schools and

mosques in places where the government has provided little

development.  Secular Tajiks may not be comfortable with Iranian

religious dictatorship, and parts of Rahmon's government still

resent the quiet support Iran gave to the Islamic-oriented

opposition in the Tajik civil war ten years ago.   But although

friendship with a country that supports religion-based

insurrections in neighboring states is a dangerous game for

Tajikistan, neither Rahmon nor Tajikistan can afford to say no

to infrastructure development and investment.  In the short run,

both countries stand to gain from closer relations:  Tajikistan

needs the money, and Iran needs the friend.  END SUMMARY.

Persian Shuttle Diplomacy

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

3.  (C) President Rahmon's May 7-10 visit to Iran was the latest

in a series of meetings for the Persian-speaking leaders.  In

January 2006, Rahmon went to Tehran, and in July 2006,

Ahmadinejad and Afghan President Hamid Karzai visited Dushanbe

for a tripartite meeting.  Although the Ministry of Foreign

Affairs characterized the May trip as a "working level visit" on

ongoing investments (ref b), the Iranian news agencies used the

opportunity to report that Tajikistan would "support Iran's

call" to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation

Organization.  Rahmon called on the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali

Khamenei and proposed a Tajik-Iranian business forum, as well as

a regional railroad project linking Tajikistan, Afghanistan and

Iran.  While the visit broke little new ground, it further

cemented a relationship expanding into many spheres.

Economics

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

4.  (C) Tajikistan increasingly looks to Iran for economic

assistance, both as a trading partner and as an investor in key

infrastructure projects.  According to official statistics, in

2006, Tajikistan imported more than $34 million from Iran,

mainly eggs, cooking oils, chocolate, other consumer goods and

aluminum oxide, while it exported $76 million, primarily cotton

and aluminum.

5.  (C) In May, Iran announced intentions to invest in a Tajik

vehicle production facility for Samand cars and construct a

cement plant with a million ton capacity.  In addition, the

Tajik aluminum company Talco will invest in several of Iran's

seaports, providing Talco new outlets to the world market.

Talco Chairman Sherali Kabirov told PolEcon Chief with great

pride that his company intended to invest $66 million to rebuild

a coke refinery in Iran -- Tajikistan's first ever foreign

investment.  An Iranian company has begun construction of

Dushanbe's tallest building, a 27-story "Tower of Peace" (reftel

C).

6.  (C) Iran is financing and building the Anzob tunnel ($39

million, and from all accounts an engineering disaster months

behind schedule); the 220 megawatt hydropower station

Sangtuda-II ($220 million, and two years behind construction),

and a tunnel at Chormazak ($55 million).  The Tajik government

DUSHANBE 00000786  002 OF 004

touts its "open door policy" as a guiding principle and welcomes

all investors, but Iran, along with China and Russia, has been

one of the few countries to sink major resources into

Tajikistan's risky business environment.

Politics

----------

7.  (C) In response to every U.S. demarche regarding Iran's

violation of U.N. resolutions and Iran's nuclear program,

Ministry of Foreign Affairs interlocutors are quick to tell

EmbOffs that Tajikistan opposes all forms of nuclear development

in the region.  However, they are equally quick to point out

that Tajikistan will not openly oppose Iran on the issue, for

fear of losing the much-needed infrastructure investment.  A

Ministry of Foreign Affairs official recently admitted to EmbOff

that Tajikistan could not object to Iran joining the Shanghai

Cooperation Organization, should Iran pursue membership.

8.  (C) However, during the May 23 visit of NATO Special

Representative for Central Asia Robert Simmons, Rahmon made what

Simmons characterized as "almost an apology" for Iran's civilian

nuclear program and offered an explanation for Ahmadinejad's

approach to the United Nations.

9.  (C) Tajik officials across various ministries have proposed

Tajikistan as a natural go-between for Iran and the United

States to solve problems.  Since his re-election in November,

Rahmon has been busy traveling around the Muslim world, not just

to Iran, to project an image of Tajikistan as a regional player

and to seek financing for infrastructure projects.  Iran views

Tajikistan as a little brother in the relationship and would

likely dismiss an intermediary role for Tajikistan in dealing

with the United States or the United Nations on its nuclear

program.  In turn, many Tajiks in the government still remember

Iran's assistance to the opposition during the Civil War and

fear any sort of religious resurgence in Tajikistan, which may

limit the degree of engagement with Iran on political issues.

Education and Culture

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

10.  (C) Both Iran and Tajikistan have played up the linguistic

and cultural ties between their countries despite the fact that

Iran is primarily Shia and Tajikistan Sunni.  Iran has increased

its engagement in Tajikistan's educational sphere, planning an

educational complex, providing up to 100 university slots for

Tajik students to study in Iran, and offering Persian-language

textbooks in Arabic and Cyrillic scripts.  (Note: Persian-Farsi,

written with Arabic script, and Persian-Tajiki, written with

Cyrillic, are mutually intelligible.  End Note.)  Due to the

different alphabets, Tajik students and workers still turn more

to Russia than Iran, but this could shift if Iran increases the

number of scholarships and offers more instruction in Farsi in

Dushanbe.  Many Tajiki language publications are consciously

incorporating more Farsi and Arabic words.

11.  (C) Iran maintains a cultural center in Dushanbe as well as

a private secondary school that a few Tajik elites attend.  Iran

is an important source of linguistically understandable pop

culture as well.  A hugely popular Swedish-based Iranian pop

star triggered a highly unusual public demonstration by

disappointed youths when he postponed his concert last year.

Iranian music and television are available through satellite

television, and Iranian hits are all over Tajikistan's airwaves.

Defense

-----------

12.  (C) The Tajiks and Iranians have danced around military

cooperation, but activities and assistance have yet to produce

any significant partnership.  In general, the Iranians are

disappointed in the level of military cooperation and tend to

dismiss the Tajiks' characterization of their military relations

as cooperation.  The Russian-influenced Tajik Ministry of

Defense remains wary of the influence of political Islam and

therefore reluctant to fully engage the Iranian military.

13.  (C) An Iranian Ministry of Defense delegation visited

DUSHANBE 00000786  003 OF 004

Tajikistan April 29-May 2 and although the two sides signed a

document, the visit was more political than substantive in

nature.  In addition to a dose of anti-U.S. rhetoric, the

Iranians offered minor technical assistance including uniforms,

small arms ammunition and radio repair.  Press reports mentioned

that Iran has provided "over 6 million dollars" in military

assistance to Tajikistan over the last 10 years.  This is a drop

in the bucket compared to what other interested parties,

including Russia, China and the United States, provide.

14.  (C) The delegation cancelled a meeting with Tajik Foreign

Minister Zarifi, a former Ambassador to the United States at the

last minute, raising some speculation as to the real level of

cooperation and goal of the mission.  The Iranian defense

minister may have considered Zarifi too associated with the

United States and therefore unworthy of meeting with the Iranian

defense delegation.  On the whole, the visit indicated an

Iranian preoccupation with U.S intentions in Tajikistan and

further abroad.

Religion and grassroots development

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

15.  (C) Much to the discomfort of Tajikistan's secular

post-Soviet cadre, Iran has quietly been making an impact in

rural areas, by donating money for mosques and schools.  The

mosques are able to offer some short-term assistance for

families needing food or assistance when the men are in Russia

working.  We have anecdotal evidence that Iran funnels the money

through local Islamic Renaissance Party chapters, which then use

the money to build mosques and some schools.  Despite growing

government efforts to control the construction and activities of

these mosques in rural areas, more and more they are serving as

community centers and providing social services.

16.  (C) Nevertheless, recent Presidential moves banning the

wearing of Iranian-style headscarves in schools and government

offices provide evidence that secularism is still an important

government policy.  The combination of heightened fears of

religious extremism, government and local attitudes towards

Islamic missionaries and Iran's overtures in the mid-late 1990s

would make Tajikistan a difficult environment for Iranian

religious influence to take root.

 What does this all mean?

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

17.  (C) The trajectory appears to be upwards for Tajikistan and

Iran.  The relationship is likely growing beyond the economic,

which could mean a stronger Iranian influence on President

Rahmon, particularly if Iran tried to leverage its substantial

investments for political support on the world stage.  Adding

Iran's well known anti-American rhetoric to the already dominant

Russian propaganda means that the U.S. message could have a more

limited impact.  The Tajik government is unlikely to embrace, or

welcome, Iran's religious policy, but may try to ignore that

aspect of Iran (as it sometimes does with U.S. messages on

democracy and civil society) by concentrating on other areas of

cooperation.

18.  (C) Economically, the United States cannot compete with

Iran's infrastructure investment, but we can use feasibility

studies to define projects that might attract U.S. or other

foreign investors.  We will continue to encourage a better

business climate through assistance programs that aim for

long-term stability and transparency for small and medium

enterprises.

19.  (C) Culturally, the growing influence of Iran makes

bringing the Peace Corps to Tajikistan all the more essential.

A volunteer teaching English in the same town as an

Iranian-supported mosque would at the very least give Tajik

citizens with limited access to outside media some exposure to

our culture and values, while providing a desperately needed

(and frequently requested) service.

20.  (C) Politically, we will repeat our message to the Tajiks

that supporting a country in flagrant contravention of UN

resolutions and international opinion is a bad move, despite the

economic incentives.  President Rahmon is a pragmatist, who

DUSHANBE 00000786  004 OF 004

carefully weighs his options but seems susceptible to strong

rhetoric and international diplomacy.  A high-level visit to

Tajikistan in August for the opening of the U.S.-funded bridge

at Nizhniy Pyanj, just weeks before the Shanghai Cooperation

Organization Summit where Iran could make a play for full

membership, will provide the ideal opportunity to open a

dialogue with Rahmon on Iran.

JACOBSON

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

id: 110714

date: 6/4/2007 10:55

refid: 07DUSHANBE790

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: CONFIDENTIAL

destination: 07DUSHANBE623

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RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 2056

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

C O N F I D E N T I A L DUSHANBE 000790

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL

E.O. 12958: DECL:  6/4/2017

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PHUM, KIRF, TI

SUBJECT: JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES' LITERATURE SEIZED, MEMBER INTERROGATED

REF: DUSHANBE 623

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

Dushanbe, STATE.

REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1.  (C) Tajikistan's Jehovah's Witnesses face increased pressure

from the Tajik government and fear their recent problems may

signal the government's move to shut down the religious group

entirely (reftel).  On April 26, State Committee on National

Security officials prohibited customs authorities from releasing

a container from Germany with over three tons of religious

materials including books, brochures, and DVDs. Jehovah's

Witnesses Valeri Dudayev and James Hwang painted a grim picture

of recent activities to PolOff May 31.

2.  (C)  On April 26, State Committee on National Security

officials called in two Jehovah's Witnesses, Suhrob Ibraghimov

and Vladimir Aderhayev, for five hours of questioning.

Afterwards Ibraghimov told Jehovah's Witnesses that during the

interrogation, officials delivered a strong punch to his upper

body.  They accused him of working for the United States and

Germany and ordered him to change his religion.  Ibraghimov is

ethnic Uzbek and Aderhayev is ethnic Ossetian; both are

Tajikistan nationals.

3.  (C)  Two Jehovah's Witnesses lawyers from the Almaty chapter

met with the State Committee on National Security May 10.  When

they requested a meeting with the Chairman or Deputy Chairman,

officials declined, saying that the high officials will never

meet with the Jehovah's Witnesses.  The officials demanded a

list of countries assisting Jehovah's Witnesses, a list of

members, bank account statements and other documents.  The

Committee members said that they plan on burning all the

imported materials and would inform the Jehovah's Witnesses when

they have done so.  To date, Jehovah's Witnesses believe the

materials have not yet been destroyed.

4.  (SBU)  On May 10 and 24 Jehovah's Witnesses filed official

letters with the Ministry of Security and Tajik Customs asking

for an explanation for the confiscation of materials.   The

group insisted that it had filed all the necessary documents and

obtained receipts for all fees paid to customs authorities.

Jehovah's Witnesses had been permitted to import religious

literature for 14 years with only minor problems.  In May 2006

local police stopped a Jehovah's Witnesses truck full of

religious materials but released it within three hours.

5.  (C)  Tajikistan's local Jehovah's Witnesses chapter is

considering appealing the problem to its United States chapter

as well as other countries.  Because a German company supplied

the literature, Dudayev said that Jehovah's Witnesses in Germany

have informed the German government.  PolOff suggested that

Jehovah's Witnesses also inform other international

organizations and diplomatic missions in Dushanbe who are

regular champions of religious freedom.  For now, the group is

waiting for an official response to its May letters to the

government, although they realize a response may never come.  In

the meantime, another shipment, sent from Germany before these

problems surfaced is en route.

6.  (C)  COMMENT:  The State Committee on National Security did

not explain why they confiscated the religious materials or

questioned the Jehovah's Witnesses.  This particular Jehovah's

Witnesses case is the latest in a string of recent

interrogations by security officials of members of Christian

groups with some connection to foreigners.  Intimidation and

harassment is the tactic of choice to discourage Christian

groups from proselytizing.  Although past cases involved

intimidation, the physical abuse of Ibraghimov is the first

report we have heard of violence.  Post will continue to raise

these specific incidents as a negative trends toward restriction

of religious freedom, and will send a diplomatic note to the

government officially registering our concern. END COMMENT.

JACOBSON

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

id: 110895

date: 6/5/2007 10:18

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RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1970

RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 2065

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DUSHANBE 000796

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, KWMN, KIRF, TI

SUBJECT: TAJIKISTAN:  FEMALE STUDENT CHALLENGES BAN ON HIJAB IN

UNPRECEDENTED CASE

REF: DUSHANBE 622

DUSHANBE 00000796  001.2 OF 002

1.  SUMMARY:  In an unprecedented case, a young female

university student, Davlatmoh Ismailova, is suing the Tajik

Institute of Languages and the Ministry of Education for

expelling her for wearing a hijab to school.  This is the first

time a student has brought a case against a university and the

Ministry of Education, and the first court case disputing the

ban on hijabs (reftel).  On May 31, the courageous young woman

told PolOff her story and what motivated her to take on the

Tajik government.  END SUMMARY.

2.  On May 2 the Sino District courthouse received Ismailova's

case petitioning for the Institute of Languages and Ministry of

Education to readmit her into the university with her hijab.

However, the judicial system postponed the case and redirected

it to the Shomansur District Court where the Ministry of

Education is located.   On May 16, the rescheduled court date,

Источник: ИА "Авеста"
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