Commenting on a statement by the governor of Kyrgyzstan’s Batken region about divisiveness of a 255-meter section of the Osh-Isfana road, Rajabboy Ahmadzoda, the governor of the Tajik northern province Sughd, said in an interview with Asia-Plus that that section of the Isfana-Osh road is the territory of Tajikistan and “our neighbors have no legal grounds to consider this area disputable.” 

“This area, called mahallai Zarafshon or Tort-Kocho as the Kyrgyz side calls it, in accordance with documents of 1924-1927 and materials of the joint commission of 1989, is the territory of the Republic of Tajikistan,” Ahmadzoda said.

According to him, this section of the road and the bridge across the Isfara River were leased to Kyrgyzstan for 49 years for a nominal fee based on the previously signed government-to-government agreement between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.  

The Sughd governor stressed that the status of this area cannot be negotiated within the framework of the joint commission for delimitation and demarcation of the mutual border. 

He further noted that despite the importance of this road for the neighboring country, Tajikistan has never used this section of the road as leverage to pressure Kyrgyzstan.  

The Batken governor Abdikarim Alimabyaev told Sputnik Kyrgyzstan in an interview on January 30 that “the Tort-Kocho area in Batken district is disputable one and has not yet been legally formalized.”