CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS IN TAJIK-GCC RELATIONS FOR FOREIGN POLICY AND TRADE FROM TAJIK PERSPECTIVE
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With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Central Asian states faced several challenges concerning their political autonomy in a globalized economic system. Foreign policy formation was top priority for acquiring international recognition. Leadership in Tajikistan focused political efforts on recruiting Arab Muslims in Afghanistan as allies based on religious and cultural ties. Relations with the neighboring countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) currently depend on foreign policy for national interests particularly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Tajikistan implemented an “open door” policy that led the relatively new nation to gain international recognition and strengthen relationships with GCC countries. Tajikistan and GCC countries currently work in collaboration to develop a “pan-Islamic” pattern of international relations. However, in recognizing its unique form of independence, political leaders in Tajikistan engage in risky political behaviors that effectively damage national reputation. The results of this study indicate that while Tajikistan has the potential to play a critical role for economic development in Central Asia, its geography may require placing restrictions on imports for agricultural goods. Moreover, labor migration to GCC countries like the United Arab Emirates and Qatar suggest that future studies should evaluate the effects of FDI and remittance flows from host to home country in shaping foreign policy directions. The political and economic future of Tajikistan and GCC countries depends on the leveraging of consumer markets while striking an important balance in foreign policy developments.
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