Why is the US Engaging Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in Central Asia?

Henry Ensher, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central Asia and Afghanistan recently completed his Central Asia tour and visited Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Is the US competing for influence in Central Asia with Russia and China?

Ensher, according to the US Embassy in Bishkek plans on discussing issues with the Kyrgyzstan leaders, MPs, and representatives of the civil society. He is also expected to meet the participants of the exchange programmes organized by the US government.

A representative said the purpose of Ensher’s visit is to understand more about the issues faced by the Kyrgyzstan government along with discussing some common areas of interest with the United States. While the representative refrained from divulging any details about the exact agendas for discussion, it is being rumoured that the topics may be similar to the ones raised by him in Dushanbe. The Tajikistan government has however maintained silence till now over the topics raised during the discussion. The only part confirmed by the Tajik side was the arrival of Ensher on their soil.

26 Years Of Cooperation With Central Asian State Tajikistan

The United States Embassy, on the other hand, released a statement about Ensher’s visit to Central Asia saying that during the two-day visit to Tajikistan, Ensher held talks with the government representatives of Tajikistan where the international and bilateral relations of both nations were taken up for discussion.

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The members of state attending the discussions from the Tajikistan side included the heads of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the ministers from the defence and finance ministries. The statement further added that the agendas for discussion included the close to 26 years of cooperation between the United States and Tajikistan and the efforts made towards improving the standard of living in the latter. Since the year 1992, United States has reportedly provided the Tajikistan administration with an amount close to USD 2 billion for various projects including the development of business, energy, agriculture, education, maintenance, and medicine.