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Border conflict: Andrey Belyaninov about effectiveness of public diplomacy

Secretary General of the Peoples’ Assembly of Eurasia Andrey Belyaninov commented on the conflict at the Kyrgyz-Tajik border. He expressed his opinion during a video conference.

According to him, all countries of the post-Soviet region, including Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, Armenia and Azerbaijan, have to solve problems without use of military force.

«There is one road: the Kyrgyz live on one side, the Tajiks — on the other. No one is to blame for this. It suddenly turned out to be a border. Do they have to fight against each other now? Unfortunately, such boundaries have passed through our hearts and destinies, take, for example, Russia and Ukraine,» Andrey Belyaninov said.

He believes that in this situation, public diplomacy and soft power are an effective measure for concluding peace treaties.

«The Kyrgyz and Tajiks — what they have to share? They have one faith. All their lives long they lived in the same area, and suddenly they were provoked to such hostilities. When the blood is shed, it’s very hard to forget. When blood was shed in Kyrgyzstan, Osh, Jalal-Abad ... These wounds will affect the lives of people who live there for a long time. The Uzbeks also suffered there. This is not a very good national flavor. It is necessary to sit down, talk. Calmly tell politicians where they are wrong and where they are cunning,» Andrey Belyaninov said.

The border conflict began on April 28 in the area of Golovnoy water distribution point. Local residents, army units and heavy weapons were involved in it. The parties finally agreed on the armistice and withdrawal of troops only on the evening of May 1.

At least 189 Kyrgyzstanis sought medical help, 36 people died, including children. More than 40,000 people have been evacuated from the conflict zone. The Tajik side unofficially reported more than 150 wounded and about 16 dead.

The Ministry of Emergency Situations reported that 120 houses and 84 social facilities had been destroyed in Kyrgyz border villages, including a school, a village first-aid station, a kindergarten, a police station, four checkpoints, a medical center, a dental center, two pharmacies, a fire station, 27 gas filling stations, 34 retail outlets, five canteens and three banquet halls.

The Prosecutor General’s Office of Kyrgyzstan assessed the actions of Tajikistan as military invasion and started pre-trial proceedings under the article «Crime against peace» of the Criminal Code of the Kyrgyz Republic.

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