Despite tense relations, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan less likely to have conflict

Politics Materials 12 June 2009 15:25 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan. Baku, June 12 / Trend , V. Zhavoronkova/ 

Experts say despite recent tension in relations between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, the two neighbor countries less likely to have more serious confrontation.

"The conflict is out of question here as the two nations are very close in religion, language and ethnic origin. They will not wage a war," independent Uzbek political scientist Komron Aliyev said.

Uzbek authorities have started to move away citizens living in homes located near the border with Kyrgyzstan, Fergana.ru reported.

Recently, Uzbekistan has unilaterally started to hence off border with Kyrgyzstan in Andijan region with deep trenches and a width of three meters. Concrete wall of seven meters high is being erected in Fergana region of Rishtan area along the border with Kyrgyzstan. According to the Kyrgyz border authorities, trenches are being drilled in bordering Suzak, Aksy and Nookat areas of Kyrgyzstan and even neutral sites are also seized. However, such actions violate mutual agreements, under which the construction or erection of protective structures until final determination and ratification of state border by parliaments of both countries is prohibited.

However, experts say this worsening of relations will not evolve into a serious armed conflict.

A controversy between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan has several levels and this is permanent "conflict", Russian expert on CIS Stanislav Pritchin said.

The states have not resolved the question of borders and complicated ethnic relations. Fairly large number of Uzbeks lives in Kyrgyzstan. In addition, water issue also remains unresolved. Water-bearing rivers of Uzbekistan, before getting into the country, pass through the territory and borders of Kyrgyzstan, which uses this water to generate energy that causes frustration in Tashkent. Disputes over this issue lasted for more than one year.

Experts say current worsening of relations is encouraged by additional factors.

Recently, Uzbekistan has been inclined to address international issues by force and unilaterally Kyrgyz political Orozbek Moldaliev said.

He said construction of buildings is alarming, because such issues should be resolved on the basis of international law through negotiations.

"Negotiations on delimitation and demarcation of borders between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have not yet completed and such acts by Uzbekistan say that they want to deal with these issues unilaterally by force and by exerting pressure," Moldaliev told Trend by telephone from Bishkek.

Relations between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan defective are undermined by disintegration policy of the Central Asian countries, Aliyev said.

"While the whole world is uniting and form regional alliances, the Central Asian countries are on the path of worsening relations. It is very shameful page in the history of Central Asia," Aliyev said to Trend by telephone from Tashkent.

The worsening of relations will not lead to conflict, although the relationship is complex, Pritchin said. The expert does not exclude the fact of the information war between the states.

"The parties have accused each other and exert pressure through their press," Pritchin told Trend by telephone from Moscow.

He said while speaking about the conflict one should note that there is the military balance between two countries which can not be compared. Uzbekistan's military is much stronger than Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan will seek to avoid confrontation and resolve problems by peaceful means, Pritchin said.

"But this "permanent" conflict will continue until all issues between the countries are settled. It is less likely to happen in future," the expert said.

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