Russian and Tajik presidents discuss cooperation

President Vladimir Putin sat down with his Tajik counterpart Thursday for discussions on economic cooperation and increasing cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

President Emomali Rakhmonov praised the two countries' cooperation in fighting drug trafficking, terrorism and other crimes. He also said bilateral trade had risen in first eight months of 2005 to reach US$300 million, compared to US$400 million for all of last year.

"We have a lot of plans in the political sphere, in the sphere of fighting terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime," Putin told Rakhmonov at the beginning of the talks.

Later Thursday, Rakhmonov and Putin were to fly to St. Petersburg to take part in a two-day summit of the Central Asian Cooperation Organization, a regional economic group which also comprises republics of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, the AP reports.

Photo: CNN

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