The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, and the President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, have agreed to speed up the negotiation process on delineation of a common border between the two countries. According to the press office of the Kazakh President, the two leaders instructed their foreign offices to accelerate the negotiating process in order to finalise the delineation of the Uzbek-Kazak border by the end of 2001. Ambiguity over the demarcation of the Uzbek-Kazakh border has been a source of tension in the past.
Tasked with protecting Kazakhstan's 14,000 km border, the director of Kazakhstan's National Security Committee border service, Lt-Gen Bulat Zakiyev, said that the "legal registration of the border was being carried out". Zakiyev said that the demarcation of the official border, which crossed through densely populated areas, had sometimes clashed with the interests of local inhabitants, the Kazakh newspaper 'Kazakhstanskaya Pravda' reported. Such problems should diminish once the official border had been agreed, Zakiyev added.
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