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Tajik, Afghan, Iranian Leaders To Accelerate Joint Projects

DUSHANBE -- The leaders of Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Iran ageed in Tehran this week to speed up the implementation of projects on transportation, water/energy, the construction of commucation and electricity lines, and cultural exchanges, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

The leaders -- meeting on the sidelines of the Economic Cooperation Organization -- also agreed to meet at the end of this month in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif.

Tajik analyst Abdughaffor Kamol says the main reason behind the slow pace in implementing projects is Iran, the main investor, which is worried by security in Afghanistan and also the profitability of some projects in Tajikistan.

Another analyst, Muhammadsalom Makhshulov, said implementation of some of the transportation projects could damage Russian interests in the region and that Moscow is more important to Tehran than Afghanistan and Tajikistan.