General Joseph Votel, Commander of U.S. Central Command, visited Tajikistan to meet with senior Tajikistan leaders and U.S. Embassy officials in Dushanbe.  During his visit, he discussed a wide range of common security issues with President Emomali Rahmon; Minister of Defense, Colonel-General Sherali Mirzo; 1st Deputy Minister and Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant-General Emomali Sobirzoda; and First Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for National Security and Commander of the Border Forces, Colonel-General Rajabali Rahmonali, according to the U.S. Embassy.

During the high-level meetings, General Votel discussed with his counterparts important issues relevant to the security and stability of the Central Asian states and the role they play in providing for Afghanistan’s stability. He stressed the many common interests that the United States and Tajikistan share, such as border security and sovereignty.  He thanked the Tajik government for hosting the recent conference in Dushanbe on counter terrorism and preventing radicalization and detailed U.S. efforts to destroy terrorist strongholds in Afghanistan and throughout the world.  General Votel pledged to continue to work with Tajikistan to address these and other challenges facing Central Asia.  He also commended Tajikistan’s leadership for their diligent work in border security and commitment to regional stability, areas that are critical to the development of Central Asia.

The Tajik president’s official website reports that President Emomali Rahmon received General Votel on May 11.  

The two sides reportedly discussed state and prospects of further expansion of bilateral cooperation between Tajikistan and the United States in the field of security.

Rahmon and Votel also exchanged views on a number regional and international issues being of mutual interest, the president’s website said.  

In the course of the talks, a special focus was reportedly made on the issues related to strengthening control over Tajikistan’s common border with Afghanistan and taking efforts to jointly address modern challenges and threats, especially terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking and cybercrimes.  

With 26 years of United States engagement in Tajikistan, the U.S.-Tajik partnership continues to support security and stability in Central Asia, while improving the lives of Tajik citizens. Since 1992, the United States has provided over $1.8 billion in programs and humanitarian aid that support Tajikistan’s agriculture, energy and business development, health and education, and democratic institutions.