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Ahmadinejad Opens Iranian-Built Tunnel In Tajikistan

The opening of the Anzob tunnel today (RFE/RL) DUSHANBE, July 26, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The presidents of Tajikistan and Iran, Imomali Rakhmonov and Mahmud Ahmadinejad, today inaugurated an Iranian-built road tunnel north of Dushanbe.

The 5-kilometer Anzob tunnel is located on a highway that connects the Tajik capital to the city of Khujand.

Ahmadinejad is on a two-day visit to Tajikistan for talks on economic ties and regional security.

The Iranian and Tajik delegations on July 5 signed six cooperation agreements.

Rakhmonov said Iran, which is already involved in the construction of a hydroelectric power station, would build a second road tunnel in the south of the country.

RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports the two leaders also agreed to set up a joint Persian-speaking television channel that would also broadcast to neighboring Afghanistan.

The project is likely to be discussed when Afghan President Hamid Karzai joins Rakhmonov and Ahmadinejad for a planned trilateral summit later on July 26.

(with additional material from Avesta, Asia Plus)

MORE: To read coverage of the Dushanbe summit from RFE/RL's Tajik Service, click here.

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