Tajikistan, Uzbekistan resume regular flights after 25 years
After a 25-year break, fractious Central Asian neighbours Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have reestablished regular connecting flights, a spokeswoman at Tajikistan’s international airport told AFP Tuesday, paving the way for improved relations.
“An Uzbekistan airways flight (from Tashkent) landed at Dushanbe international airport at 8:03am (0303 GMT),” the airport spokeswoman told AFP by telephone.
“The plane and the passengers were very well met.”
Doubts were cast over an apparent rapprochement between the two countries that have a traditionally fraught relationship when a long-awaited flight from Dushanbe to Tashkent was abruptly cancelled in February.
Uzbekistan first banned flights from Tajikistan in 1992 after the outbreak of civil war in its smaller neighbour to the east.
The ban remained in place after the war’s end, as long-reigning autocrats Emomali Rakhmon of Tajikistan and Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan regularly clashed over water and other issues.
Karimov was buried in his native city of Samarkand after a suspected stroke in September last year and successor Shavkat Mirziyoyev has moved to smooth ties with neighbours in the majority-Muslim ex-Soviet region.