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Possible Land Exchange May Help In Kyrgyz-Tajik Border Dispute

Tensions have been high following a shootout between Tajik and Kyrgyz border guards in January that left several people injured. (file photo)
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are discussing possible land exchanges to resolve long-festering border disputes.

The head of the village of Kok-Tash, Raziya Osorova told RFE/RL on March 24 that Kyrgyz villagers living along the border may be relocated into Kyrgyzstan's Batken region if the land they are currently living on is exchanged with Tajikistan for other disputed territory.

A joint Kyrgyz-Tajik commission is discussing the possible relocation of residents in the Kyrgyz villages of Maseit, Aryk-Asty, and Tash-Tumshuk.

The joint commission has been discussing the border issue since January after a shooting incident along the border left several Kyrgyz and Tajik border guards injured.

The shootings were caused by the Kyrgyz construction of a new highway across a disputed area around a Tajik exclave inside Kyrgyzstan.

The border has been closed since then.