The United States Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Kevin Covert yesterday handed over the keys to a Murgab Customs office to Abdufattohi Ghoib, the Head of the Customs Service under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan at the Customs headquarters in Dushanbe, according to the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe.

This office is located at the Qizil Art Tajik-Kyrgyz border crossing in the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) of Tajikistan and can accommodate 20 officers with sleeping quarters, a kitchen, and office space.

Chargé Covert recognized the important work of the Customs Service and reaffirmed the United States respect for Tajikistan’s sovereignty in securing its borders. The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) of the U.S. Department of State spent US$767,000 on the structure. Next year, INL has plans to fund the installation of a wind turbine and solar array to power the building.

Over the last 10 years, INL has invested approximately US$9 million assisting Tajikistan to secure its borders through the construction of facilities, training, and equipment. Tajikistan is an important partner in the U.S. South Asia Strategy that aims to improve regional security, stability, and prosperity throughout the region.