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Tajikistan: Government Organizes Tajik Diaspora Congress

Dushanbe, 9 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- As Tajikistan continues declaration-of-sovereignty ceremonies, a government-sponsored congress of the Tajik diaspora continues in Dushanbe today as well.

The congress aims to strengthen ties between Tajik diasporas in various countries, and will run through the republic's fifth year sovereignty celebrations, according to reports.

In remarks to the congress, Tajikistan's President Imomali Rakhmonov told some 250 visitors from 19 countries that the opposition to his government seeks to establish a radical Islamic regime in Tajikistan.

But, he also said Islam is respected as a "base of moral and spiritual cleanliness and source of culture."

The first such congress of the Tajik diaspora was organized in 1992. At the 1993 congress, the World Association of Tajiks and Persian-speaking Peoples was established and Rakhmonov was elected its president.