1. Minister of Foreign Affairs Chung Eui-yong paid an official visit to Tajikistan and had a meeting with his Tajik counterpart Sirodjiddin Muhriddin on November 29.
2. The two Foreign Ministers highly appreciated the development of friendly and cooperative relations between Korea and Tajikistan in various areas including political affairs, economy and culture since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1992. They agreed to continue advancing communication and cooperation in diverse fields by boosting high-level and private-sector exchanges.
° In particular, the two Foreign Ministers welcomed that the Korean Embassy was established in Tajikistan this year following the opening of the Tajik Embassy in Korea in 2015, thereby completing diplomatic infrastructure to facilitate close communication between the two countries.
° The two sides also agreed to promote the friendship between the people of the two countries through various events being arranged to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations next year.
3. The two Foreign Ministers extensively discussed ways for Korea and Tajikistan to seek a mutually beneficial development through a harmonious nexus between the former’s New Northern Policy aimed to achieve peace and shared prosperity in Eurasia, and the latter’s National Development Strategy, its economic development plan. They agreed to continue expanding and deepening substantive cooperation between their two countries through a steady implementation of the New Northern Policy.
° The two Foreign Ministers took note of the steady discussions of the joint economic committee since 2017 on ways to expand bilateral substantive cooperation and agreed to vitalize diverse economic cooperation channels such as communication channels between the governments and between entrepreneurs.
° The two sides also agreed to carry out Korea-Tajikistan development cooperation projects in a way that not only provides short-term assistance to Tajikistan but also helps strengthen the country’s public service and industrial capabilities and leads to mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries. The two Foreign Ministers voiced hope that the designation of Tajikistan as Korea’s official development assistance (ODA) priority partner country this year and the opening of the Office of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in Dushanbe next year will contribute to the diversification and expansion of development cooperation projects between the two countries.
4. The two Foreign Ministers shared the view that climate change as well as the health and disease crisis triggered by COVID-19 is emerging as a new security issue of the international community, and agreed to work closely together in responding to such new issues.
5. On that note, the two Foreign Ministers welcomed that the foreign ministers and experts in diverse areas of the Central Asian countries -- Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan -- will attend the 14th Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum to be held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on November 30 and discuss ways for substantive cooperation toward a better economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 era. The two sides also agreed to work together for the Forum to develop continually into a consultative mechanism that spearheads closer cooperation among Korea and the five Central Asian countries.
6. The two Foreign Ministers exchanged views on key regional affairs such as the situations on the Korean Peninsula and in Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Muhriddin reaffirmed support for the Korean government’s efforts to resume the Korean Peninsula peace process.
7. On the heels of the meeting, Foreign Minister Chung signed the “protocol on the amendment of the Convention between the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Tajikistan for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income,” strengthening the institutional framework for boosting investment between the two countries.
8. After their meeting, the two Foreign Ministers attended the academic conference held in Dushanbe to celebrate the upgrade of the Dushanbe Office to the Korean Embassy in Tajikistan by reviewing the advances in bilateral relations over the past 30 years and exploring the future way forward.
° In his congratulatory remarks, Foreign Minister Chung highlighted the importance of cooperation among private-sector experts for the development of bilateral relations, voicing hope that the conference will help set a direction for the future development of bilateral relations.
° Foreign Minister Muhriddin suggested that the two countries broadly advance their relations by promoting multi-faceted cooperation through some 1,000 ethnic Koreans in Tajikistan as well as cooperation focused on tourism and education, among others.
9. On November 30, the second day of his visit, Foreign Minister Chung will attend and deliver congratulatory remarks and a keynote speech at the 14th Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum. He will also have a series of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from the other participating Central Asian countries -- Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
10. Foreign Minister Chung’s visit to Tajikistan, the first official visit to the country by a Korean Foreign Minister since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, is seen to have contributed to accelerating substantive cooperation with Tajikistan, with which Korea has had relatively fewer exchanges than with other Central Asian countries, and thereby to implementing the New Northern Policy in Central Asia in a balanced way.