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Afghan-Iranian-Tajik TV Project Still In Limbo

DUSHANBE -- Iran's ambassador to Tajikistan says Tajik officials are responsible for the long delay of the launch of the Afghan-Iranian-Tajik television project, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

In 2006, presidents Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan, Mahmud Ahmadinejad of Iran, and Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan agreed to launch a joint Persian-speaking television channel called Navrooz-TV. The project has still not been implemented.

Talking to journalists in Dushanbe on May 19, Iranian Ambassador Ali Asghar Sherdust said the necessary equipment for Navrooz-TV was brought to the Tajik capital long ago.

Sherdust complained that Tajik officials responsible for the project are avoiding meetings and talks about the final steps needed to launch the joint television channel.

He also pointed out that the TV station's Afghan partners similarly ignore the project and avoid any discussion of the matter.

Sherdust said Afghan Culture and Information Minister Makhdum Rahmin refused to take part in discussions regarding the project while he was visiting Tajikistan last week.

Sherdust added that according to the agreement about the TV station, Tajikistan was responsible for providing an appropriate building for Navrooz TV's television broadcasting center, Iran was to provide all the necessary equipment and studios, while Afghanistan had promised to provide a satellite channel in Persian for the television station.

Many of the people in Afghanistan, Iran, and Tajikistan share cultural and linguistic similarities.

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