DUSHANBE, March 31, 2012 Asia-Plus  -- On Saturday March 31, President Emomali Rahmon received General James Mattis, the head of U.S. Central Command.

According to Tajik president’s official website, issues related to many-sided cooperation between Tajikistan and the United States were a major topic of the talks.

The sides reportedly expressed satisfaction with the state of cooperation between power-wielding and security bodies of the two countries in combating international terrorism and extremism.

President Emomali Rahmon, in particular, told the visiting U.S. general that Tajikistan was interested in further expansion of cooperation with the United States in the sphere of security and the establishment of peace and stability in the region.  

General Mattis, for his part, appreciated Tajikistan’s support for the NATO-led operation in Afghanistan, saying Washington would continue providing assistance to Tajikistan’s border guards, a statement released by president’s website said.

The need to ramp up such cooperation is increasing, especially from 2014, that is upon the withdrawal of international coalition forces from Afghanistan, the presidential press service said.

According to some media sources, Mattis held talks with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov on Friday.  On Thursday, he met with Uzbek President Islam Karimov.