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Tajikistan: Investment And Aid Conference Opens

Vienna, 24 November 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Tajikistan's President Emomali Rakhmonov appealed to the international community today for financial help to restore peace and stability to his country.

Rakhmonov spoke at the start of a two-day, UN-sponsored conference aimed at attracting aid and investment to Tajikistan. The Vienna conference is also being attended by Foreign Minister Talbak Nazarov and former opposition leader Said Abdullo Nuri, who now chairs Tajikistan's commission on national reconciliation.

The UN plans to appeal to some 60 donor nations and 30 international organizations for $60 million in financial aid to help Dushanbe's economy recover from years of civil war.

Nuri said Tajik authorities are trying to minimize government interference in private companies in order to attract investment. He said foreign investments will not be subject to nationalization and investors will be able to repatriate their profits in foreign currency.

The UN's deputy special envoy, Paolo Dembo, says the Vienna conference will be followed by a major international forum next year to discuss large-scale aid and foreign investment for Tajikistan.