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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tajik Islamists Set to Return To Peace Talks

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan -- Tajikistan's main Islamic opposition party said Monday it was ready to renew peace talks with the secular government that it broke off last month.

The United Tajik Opposition, or UTO, said it had formed a special working group to negotiate in an effort to put the stalled peace process back on track.

The government had so far failed to set up its own working group, UTO chief Said Abdullo Nuri told reporters after meeting the United Nations' special representative to Tajikistan, Jan Kubis.

The two sides fought a five-year civil war that ended with an agreement in June 1997 but the UTO pulled out of peace talks in late May, demanding concessions from the Moscow-backed government.

The government has so far refused to meet the opposition's demands, including the release of 93 prisoners.

Tajikistan and China will open a temporary border trading post and also intend to build a highway connecting the Asian nations in order to develop commerce, Interfax reported Monday.