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Atambaev Signs Law On Kyrgyz-Uzbek Border

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev (right) and his Uzbek counterpart, Shavkat Mirziyoev, attend a signing ceremony in Bishkek on September 5.

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev has signed a law demarcating 85 percent of the 1,280-kilometer Kyrgyz-Uzbek border.

According to the law signed on October 2, some 1,171 kilometers of the border between the two former Soviet republics are now considered fully defined.

The border issue between the two Central Asian nations has been a major problem since they gained independence in the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

There have been numerous conflicts along the border, in some cases involving gunfire and other violence.

The situation started improving following the death of Uzbekistan's long-ruling president, Islam Karimov, a year ago.

Karimov's successor, President Shavkat Mirziyoev, has said that improving strained ties with Uzbekistan's neighbors is a major foreign policy priority.

A pact on the delimitation of 85 percent of the border was signed in September 5, during a visit by Mirziyoev to Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan's parliament ratified the agreement on September 28.

Sections that remain in contention are close to exclaves of Uzbek territory in Kyrgyzstan, Sokh and Shahimardan, and the Kyrgyz exclave of Barak in Uzbekistan.