Border Liaison Offices Opened on the Kyrgyz-Uzbek Border to Further Promote Trans-Border Cooperation

The first Border Liaison Offices (BLOs) on the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border were opened at border crossing points "Dostuk" and "Dustlik," in the framework of the project "Countering the trafficking of Afghan opiates via the northern route by enhancing the capacity of key border crossings points (BCPs) and the establishment of Border Liaison Offices (BLOs) in Central Asia."

Since 2009 UNODC has been implementing this project which aimed at countering drug trafficking/organized crime, building mutual trust in the region and improving the infrastructure of border crossing points. Currently there are twelve BLOs opened with the project support, operating on the Kyrgyz-Tajik, Uzbek-Tajik, Tajik-Afghan borders.

At the opening ceremony, Mr. Takayuki Koike, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kyrgyz Republic, expressed hope that the opening of BLOs "will promote close cooperation in the field of information exchange and contribute to joint actions against drug-related crime, both at bilateral and regional levels." Government of Japan provided $1.3 million  for this project through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Border Liaison Offices were refurbished and equipped with the special equipment, training courses were organized for the  BLO officers from National Counter Narcotics Center, Ministries of Interior, Customs and Border Guards Services.

Mr. Bolot Suvanaliev, the First Deputy Chairman of the State Service on Drug Control of Kyrgyzstan, said "Implementation of the project is positive step towards coordination of regional measures for solving the problem of drug trafficking, which does not have national borders."

During the inauguration ceremony, Mr. Katsutoshi Fushimi, the Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said that the efforts made by the partner-donor agencies will yield results and contribute to achieving the goals put forth by the Central Asian counterparts in countering drugs and other illicit items.

Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative in the Central Asia congratulated the Governments of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan on the opening of the first Border Liaison Offices on the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border and thanked the Government of Japan for its support and willingness to help the Central Asian countries to fight drug trafficking.

 Mr. Azizbek Erkaboev, Head of International Relations Department of National Information and Analytical Center on Drug Control under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, underlined that the project will enhance the capacity of law enforcement agencies in combating transnational organized crime and drug trafficking by combining organizational effort and technical measures.

Mr. Otabek Choriev, Head of Andijan Regional Department of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan said, "Today we are witnessing a joint work to create conditions for inter-agency cooperation at the border crossing points Dostyk and Dustlik." He expressed that this continuing cooperation will strengthen the counter narcotics response.