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    IRAN, TAJIKISTAN TO JOIN HANDS AGAINST SHARED DANGER: PRESIDENT KHATAMI

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    TEHERAN, MARCH 3 (RIA Novosti correspondent Nikolai Terekhov) - Iran and Tajikistan can establish a mutually beneficial alliance against shared threats on the basis of reciprocal respect and confidence, said President Mohammad Khatami, while in conference with Heirolladdin Abdulkarimov, Tajik Security Minister, now on visit to Teheran.

    The President made an emphatic reference to regional terrorist and drug dangers, and stressed that it was necessary to regain stability in Afghanistan if those evils were to be fought down. He does not think drug traffic affects any other country so badly as Iran and Tajikistan, which are on Afghan traffickers' west and north routes. The central Afghan government in Kabul needs assistance to get stronger and put an end to the disaster, he stressed, adding that Iran and Tajikistan would both benefit from regional partnership in many fields, report Iranian presidential administration PR.

    Tajikistan is the only Persian-speaking country in Central Asia. Moscow and Teheran were co-sponsoring Tajik peace efforts in the early 1990s. Iran made an inestimable contribution to the cause. Largely through its efforts, intransigent Tajik opposition, with Muslim mottoes to its political activities, gave up armed struggle against President Rakhmonov after five years' civil warfare to incorporate into governing agencies.

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