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Calmy-Rey discusses cooperation in Tajikistan

Switzerland's foreign minister, Micheline Calmy-Rey, has held talks in Tajikistan - a priority area for Swiss development cooperation.

On Tuesday she discussed bilateral cooperation with her Tajik counterpart, Hamrokhon Zarifi, in Dushanbe.

One subject of particular importance is water management in the Fergana Valley, which the former Soviet Central Asian state shares with Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Switzerland hopes that by helping to make more rational use of the valley’s water resources it will contribute to stability in the ethnically mixed and volatile region.

The two ministers also discussed cooperation in multilateral organisations, in particular in the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, where they are in a common voting group.

Also on the agenda was the strengthening of economic relations. Switzerland proposed that the two sides should start talks on an economic cooperation agreement.

Calmy-Rey, who is on a five-nation tour of Central Asia, left Tajikistan for Kazakhstan. She had previously visited Turkmenistan.

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