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A moment in history, A new dawn of friendship
June 22, 2013, 5:09 pm
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Tajikistan joins Kuwait Diplomatic Corps

 

It is a moment in history.  A moment that will be scripted in the pages of history with golden letters when the first ever Embassy of Tajikistan will be set up in the diplomatic horizon of Kuwait adding yet another chapter of friendship between the two countries.

It is but understandable that His Excellency Dr Zubaydullo Zubaydov, Ambassador of Tajikistan to Kuwait has been working round the clock since more than a month to meet the deadline. More so since the President of Tajikistan Emomalii Ramon is specially flying  in to inaugurate the embassy on Monday and hence everything had to be on dot for the coveted occasion

Yet even under pressure Ambassador Zubaydov, a career diplomat, displays a calm and friendliness nature as he spoke to The Times with a passion about his new mission to further bolster ties between the two nations.

Having graduated in Oriental studies from Tajikistan National university way back in 1983, Ambassador Zubaydov joined the diplomatic service in 1990, right from the independence of Tajikistan. He served in various capacities in the foreign ministry including the head of the protocol department and first ever chief of presidential protocol.

In 2007 Ambassador Zubaydov was posted as minister counsellor to the Russian Federation and after just a year took over as Tajik ambassador to Pakistan. In 2010, while serving as ambassador he was appointed as the first ever non-resident ambassador of Tajikistan to Kuwait. Ambassador Zubaydov recounts that last year during the Asian Cooperation Dialogue summit in Kuwait his president took the decision to appoint a resident ambassador to Kuwait and he was the immediate choice. He took over as Tajik’s first ever resident ambassador to Kuwait in January 2013.

“Our relations have seen a big improvement since January,” Ambassador Zubaydov discloses, pointing that there has already been several high level exchange of visits between the two countries.  “Recently a Kuwaiti media team visited Tajikistan  and was received by the president,” he revealed.

Ambassador Zubaydov said  more than 100 Kuwaiti nationals have visited Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikistan in the last 6 months and he is keen to take relations to the next level. “I am highly honoured to be appointed as ambassador here and will do my utmost to establish a solid foundation for a life long relationship,” he says with a sense of urgency and commitment.

Speaking on relations between the two nations Ambassador Zubaydov said that Tajikistan became an independent nation in 1991 and Kuwait was among the first Arab and GCC nations to recognize the country in 1993.  There were high level exchanges during this time and the Tajik president visited Kuwait in 1995 while Kuwait finance minister visited Dushanbe as well.

“We had some internal issues after independence and therefore we were a bit slow in our progress with establishing relations and economic development took a back seat,” Ambassador candidly pointed out. But of late trade and commercial ties have taken a new focus and we hope to put the past behind us and move forward with more vigor and speed in our progress and development.

“We held a joint economic commission between Tajik and Kuwait recently at our capital in Dushanbe, and we are confident the state visit of our president will boost economic cooperation between the two nations,” he pointed out adding that Tajikistan is a country with a huge potential in investment as several foreign firms from US, China and France have set up joint ventures, this is testimony that the investment climate is flourishing.

On tourism, he said Tajikistan’s unspoilt  beauty is seen to be believed. More than 90 per cent of the land is covered by mountains and 60 per cent of the water in Central Asia comes from Tajikistan.  Eco-tourism is widely promoted and the picturesque beauty is second to none.

Ambassador Zubaydov reiterated that Tajikistan and Kuwait have a lot in common from shared cultural affinities to shared religious values and this will help renew our friendship and bring the people of the two nations closer together.

“We have simplified visa rules for Kuwaitis and they can get visas on arrival,” pointing that the distance between the two nations is a three-and-half hour flight.

On Kuwaiti investments in Tajikistan, Ambassador said that Kuwait has made some investments through the Kuwait Fund for Arab economic Development and there is much more further scope for investment.

“On Monday June 24th the president will be addressing Kuwaiti businessmen at the Kuwait Chamber about the potential of investment and trade this meeting he hoped will help answer all queries and also open doors for more opportunities to Tajikistan,   ambassador Zubaydov revealed.

When asked about the areas of investment Ambassador Zubaydov pointed at tourism infrastructure, mining, hydropower, and agriculture as some of the areas with great potential. There were also economic free zones and the country provided all necessary facilities to foreign investors.

Tajikistan is rich in mineral resources and has one of the largest silver deposits in the world with over 750,000 tonnes of proven deposits. As an untapped market Tajikistan provides investors a very lucrative potential.

As an affable and friendly diplomat ambassador Zubaydov has already made many friends in the business, diplomatic and media circles “Even though we have opened our embassy late, we will work 24x7 to attain our objectives,” he says and this positive attitude that he discharges is sure to help him achieve his objectives.

“I want to thank H H the Amir and people of Kuwait for their unflinching support and cooperation extended to us and wish this friendly nation peace and prosperity,” he says in conclusion of our chat.

By Reaven D'Souza
Managing Editor
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