As part of his tour of Central Asia, U.S. Central Command commander Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla has visited Tajikistan.

Yesterday, he met in Dushanbe with President Emomali Rahmon. 

The Tajik president’s official website says the parties discussed state and prospects of further expansion of cooperation between Tajikistan and the United States, especially in the military sphere and in the field of security.  

Rahmon and Kurilla reportedly also exchanged views on a number of regional and international issues being of mutual interests, including the current situation in the region, the fight against terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking and transnational organized crime, according to the Tajik president’s official website. 

No other details of the meeting were given.  

On June 11, Gen. Erik Kurilla met with Kazakhstan’s Minister of Defense Ruslan Zhaksylykov, according to the U.S. Central Command.  The leaders reportedly discussed mutual security concerns and opportunities to expand defense cooperation in the Central Asian region.

On June 14, Gen Erik Kurilla reportedly had a series of engagements in Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, with President Mirziyoyev, Lieutenant-General Makhmudov, Lieutenant-General Qurbonov, Major-General Kholmukhammedov, and the leadership of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Uzbekistan. These were important, high-level discussions regarding the major topics of concern for both militaries, according to the U.S. Central Command.

Gen. Kurilla said, “This visit is part of what I refer to as my “listening tour”: visits to the countries in the CENTCOM Area of Responsibility.  I want to hear from each country’s leadership about the threats they face, the gaps in the relationship, and most importantly, the opportunities ahead to strengthen our partnership.  At the end of this tour, I will submit my 90-day assessment (from Egypt to Kazakhstan – Asia-Plus) to the US leadership.” 

According to him, his two-day visit to Uzbekistan also included formal meetings and candid discussions with the top leaders in Uzbekistan.  “Throughout all these activities, events, and engagements, I was accompanied by General Major Kholmukhammedov, Chief of the General Staff. At each stop, to include throughout our tour of Samarkand, we discussed many important issues of concern for both of our forces.”

United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) was established on January 1, 1983.  As its name implies, USCENTCOM covers the "central" area of the globe located between the European, Africa and Indo-Pacific Commands.  USCENTCOM directs and enables military operations and activities with allies and partners to increase regional security and stability in support of enduring U.S. interests.