Tajikistan President arrives Beijing for a five day state visit; Iran and Tajikistan ink five pacts ranging from transportation to health; Kazakhstan and Russian Presidents hold top level meeting in Astana; Kyrgyzstan pays a part of its gas debt to Kazakh
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  • (MAY 28-JUNE 3)

    According to reports, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon has arrived in Beijing for the start of his five-day official visit for talks with top-level Chinese officials on trade, finance, energy, and telecommunications. He will also participate in the SCO heads of the meetings scheduled to be held on June 7. 1

    In another development, Tajikistan and Iran wrapped up their ninth joint economic commission meeting by inking five pacts to expand ties in areas ranging from power to health. Iran will assist Tajikistan in setting up a 2 million ton cement production facility. The two sides have discussed plans to expand output at their joint tractor factory in Dushanbe, explore hydrocarbons and build oil processing facilities, as well as construct small hydropower plants in Tajikistan. Iran has expressed its willingness to import upto 1 billion cubic meters of water from Tajikistan. Tajikistan is the only country in Central Asia which has a Persian language culture. 2

    Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev held talks with Kazakhstan’s top leaders during a visit to the Kazakh capital, his first foreign trip since his appointment to the country’s premiership. Russia is Kazakhstan’s primary trade partner. The growing trade between the two countries reached $23.9 billion last year. Kazakh exports to Russia were worth $7.7 billion in that period, while imports from Russia totalled $16.2 billion. 3

    Reports noted that Kyrgyzstan has paid $2.5 million toward its outstanding gas bill to Kazakhstan. It has natural gas debt of $31.2 million to Kazakhstan and the arrears go back to 2003. 4

    In other developments, according to reports, the chairman of Kazakhstan’s Atomic Energy Agency, Timur Zhantikin has said that Kazakhstan will have an international nuclear fuel bank in 2013, potentially putting it on the front line of the international non-proliferation effort. Kazakhstan has identified the Ulba Metallurgic plant in Oskemen as the potential site. The Ulba Metallurgic plant, which has been producing dry fuel for nuclear power stations for 50 years, would have the capacity to hold up to 60 tons of gasified low-enriched uranium. 5