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Diplomacy in Action

United States and Tajikistan Cooperate To Strengthen Counter Nuclear Smuggling Capabilities

Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation
August 28, 2013



Date: 08/28/2013 Description: United States delegation engages Tajik government on counter nuclear smuggling cooperation.  © Photo courtesy of U.S. Embassy Dushanbe

Officials from the United States and Tajikistan met in Dushanbe from August 27-28, 2013, to discuss ways to further strengthen cooperation to counter nuclear smuggling. These discussions continued ongoing bilateral cooperation initiated in January 2007 to advance capabilities to prevent, detect, and respond to nuclear and radiological material smuggling incidents.

At the two-day meeting, the U.S. and Tajikistan delegations reaffirmed the need to cooperate more closely to prevent terrorists and other criminals from acquiring black market nuclear material. Recognizing the importance of a coordinated, whole-of-government response to potential nuclear smuggling incidents, meeting participants included representatives from the Parliament and several ministries of the Republic of Tajikistan, and representatives from the relevant U.S. Government agencies.

During the meeting in Dushanbe, both sides reviewed progress in implementing the 31 steps of the U.S.-Tajikistan Joint Action Plan, signed in November 2011. Within its framework, both sides shared information on current nuclear smuggling threats and trends, and discussed best practices in the areas of nuclear detection, nuclear forensics, law enforcement investigations, and other tools to prevent, detect, and respond to incidents of nuclear smuggling. These discussions provide a platform for continued cooperation between the United States and Tajikistan to strengthen capabilities to investigate and successfully prosecute nuclear smugglers.

Nuclear smuggling seizures in other countries in 2010 and 2011 suggest additional nuclear material could be available on the black market and must be located and secured. The threat posed to regional and global security by the potential smuggling of nuclear material is best met through joint cooperation. The United States works with partner governments, including Tajikistan, to strengthen counter nuclear smuggling capabilities in a comprehensive manner, including by focusing on information collection and analysis, law enforcement, and technical reach-back—all capabilities that have proven successful in detecting past nuclear smuggling networks and arresting criminals involved in most known cases.

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