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Official Upbeat On Resolving Tajik-Uzbek Dispute

DUSHANBE -- The head of the Energy Charter Secretariat says disputes between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan over water-energy resources can be resolved, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Andre Mernier, secretary-general of the Energy Charter Secretariat, said after meeting with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon that a European conference for potential investors in Tajikistan's energy sector will soon be held and Mernier will also visit Uzbekistan this month.

Mernier said the Energy Charter Treaty -- which has provisions for energy investment guarantees, reliable crossborder energy transit, dispute resolution, and promotion of energy efficiency -- could be important in resolving the dispute between Tashkent and Dushanbe.

The Energy Charter Treaty is an international agreement based on integrating the energy sectors of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe into European and world markets.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov is highly critical of Tajik plans to build hydropower plants he says it would hurt his country's environment and agriculture.