BISHKEK. Yesterday, the Kyrgyz-Tajik inter-governmental delegations held talks on the disputed border and customs posts in Batken (Kyrgyzstan) and Soghd (Tajikistan) regions. The talks held in the Tajik town of Isfara were concluded with signing a Protocol on removal of the border and custom posts (in Kyrgyzstan - Akterek, Koekterek and Lakkan; in Tajikistan - Jekeoruk / Jakkaoruk and Surkh). The sides agreed that all the disputed problems will be resolved in accordance with the processes of border delimitation. Protocol was signed by the Kyrgyz deputy prime minister, Bazarbai Mambetov, and the Secretary of the Tajikistan Security Council, Amirkul Azimov.
The moves come as an effort to ease tension between the two regions. Some 300 residents of Tajikistan's Vorukh enclave destroyed a newly established Kyrgyz border post between Batken and Tajikistan's Sogh region on January 3. In response, about 100 residents of the Kyrgyz village of Koekterek entered Tajik territory and destroyed a border post and turned over vehicles. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan held several sessions of border talks in November and December 2002. Parts of their border remain disputed.