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Bishkek (AKIpress) - A week-long workshop on enhancing border security and countering illicit trafficking for representatives of national border and drug control agencies of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and staff of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat, ended today at the OSCE Border Management Staff College in Dushanbe. The event was organized in co-operation with the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.The purpose of the inter-agency workshop was to enhance participants’ capability to effectively manage borders, combat illicit trafficking and address other transnational threats while promoting cross-border trade facilitation.
The workshop provided insight on border security developments in Central Asia and focused on identifying ways to increase co-operation and co-ordination among the Central Asian states. Given the fact that the Central Asian countries have much in common, participants emphasized the importance of conducting regular face-to-face meetings with their counterparts in neighbouring countries to discuss issues of concern and to avoid disinformation and misperception.
“Overcoming illicit trafficking threats requires a comprehensive approach as well as enhanced co-operation on the regional and international levels,” said Henryk Raczkowski, the Director of the OSCE Border Management Staff College. “This workshop offers an important forum for finding common ground for future co-operation among the Central Asian states that face many challenges, including the upcoming withdrawal of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops from Afghanistan.”
Ulrich Janssen, the Central Asia Programme Manager at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, added: “Commonly agreed standards and procedures and the exchange of information across government agencies and with international partners will significantly help improve border security and the fight against illicit trafficking.”
The programme of the workshop included a field study trip to the nearby border with Uzbekistan where participants observed customs and border procedures, and met their colleagues from Tajikistan who briefed them on their daily work, challenges and plans for the future.