France is opening a diplomatic mission in Tajikistan's capital Dushanbe, a spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry has announced. He said diplomatic links have long been established between France and Tajikistan, but up to now, there have been no resident French diplomats in the country. French ambassador to Russia, Claude Blanchemaison, acted as ambassador to Tajikistan. France's decision to open a diplomatic mission led by a charge d'affaires in Dushanbe "is justified by the current situation in the region where an anti-terrorist operation is being conducted in the territory of Afghanistan, which borders on Tajikistan," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The spokesman cited the "need to keep up regular contacts with the Tajik authorities in order to obtain information on the developments on the Afghan side of the border, strengthen coordination of the international community's efforts to manage the Afghan crisis, and be able to provide all the assistance required for the humanitarian effort of the French relief agencies in the region." The Foreign Ministry appointed Foreign Affairs Advisor Pascal Maubert as charge d'affaires to Tajikistan. Currently, France maintains embassies to Kazakhstan, Kyrghyzstan, and Uzbekistan in the region.