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23 May 2019

Reconsidering the Meaning of Neighbourship: The Transformation of Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan Border Areas after 2016

The year of 2016 was marked by a breakthrough in interstate relations between Uzbekistan and its neighbors; relations that were previously frozen and marked by sporadic hostile confrontations, thawed and shifted to multilateral cooperation. Territorial disputes in the Ferghana Valley have created tensions between Tashkent and Bishkek.

Border areas were largely militarized during the 2005-2016 period of political confrontation leading to the rupturing of economic and social relations that had been fundamental to the cohesion of border communities. The intergovernmental commission had not formally negotiated since 2009, but negotiations resumed after 2016.