DUSHANBE -- Uzbek Defence Minister Bakhodir Kurbanov is arriving in Dushanbe on Saturday (March 14) to observe the final phase of a joint counter-terrorism drill for Tajik and Uzbek special forces, Asia-Plus reported Friday (March 13), citing a source in the Tajik Defence Ministry.
Participating forces include one company of Uzbek special forces and three companies of Tajik special forces. Armoured vehicles, artillery and aviation are involved. The drill is taking place on the Fakhrobod training ground.
The exercise began Wednesday (March 11) and ends March 14.
Tajik Defence Minister Sherali Mirzo is commanding the war game, a hypothetical co-ordinated mission to destroy terrorist groups along the countries' shared border.
The defence ministers plan to confer on further expansion of military co-operation, a Tajik Defence Ministry source told Asia-Plus.
Their countries had frosty relations for years but have stepped up co-operation since 2016, when reformist President Shavkat Mirziyoyev took office in Uzbekistan. In 2018, their forces held their first joint drills since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.