DUSHANBE -- Visiting Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon have signed seven agreements on increased cooperation, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.
One agreement allows Tajik and Belarusian citizens to be allowed temporary employment in each other's countries. Another pact covers deepening economic cooperation through 2015.
Most of the meetings on October 28 between the two leaders were held behind closed doors and they did not speak to reporters after making statements at a press conference in the Tajik capital.
Rahmon said he and Lukashenka "discussed different important world problems, including problems on the framework of the [Commonwealth of Independent States] (CIS), the [Collective Security Treaty Organization] (CSTO), and the [Shanghai Cooperation Organization] (SCO). In most cases we have a common position and in other cases we have very similar positions."
On the eve of his trip to Tajikistan, Lukashenka pointed to Uzbekistan's weak participation in CSTO meetings and events and proposed that Tashkent leave the regional security organization.
But in Dushanbe on October 28, Lukashenka did not mention the issue of Uzbekistan's membership in the CSTO.
He said Tajikistan is a good market for Belarusian goods and, in addition, Belarus could transport its goods through Tajikistan for export in neighboring countries to the south and east such as China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Lukashenka said his country could also install a factory for assembling Belarusian tractors in Tajikistan.
Tajik affairs analyst Qosim Bekmuhammad said Tajikistan and Belarus currently have cooled relations with Russia and by strengthening their bilateral ties they want to compensate for not having closer relations with Moscow.
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