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Tajikistan's Interior Minister Elected CIS Chief

Dushanbe, April 17 (RFE/RL) - Tajikistan's Interior Minister Sayidamir Zuhurov today was elected Chairman of the CIS Interior Minister's Council. CIS interior ministers opened a three-day meeting in Dushanbe yesterday.

Zuhurov told RFE/RL he is confident that proposals to coordinate efforts against organized crime and drug-and-arms smuggling will be implemented. Yesterday, Russia's Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov also called for cooperation, as he said "mafia organizations" are taking advantage of the increasing transparency of borders among CIS member countries.

Last week, Tajikistan's President Imomali Rakhmonov signed a decree spelling out "urgent measures" to crack down on drug smuggling, production and consumption. At a meeting in Dushanbe two weeks ago (Apr 4), CIS Security Services Chiefs decided to set up an Interpol-style body to coordinate resources in the fight against crime and the smuggling of drugs and arms, especially along Tajikistan's border with Afghanistan.