DUSHANBE, January 3, 2012, Asia-Plus  -- France’s Defense Minister Gerard Lonquet paid a short visit to Tajikistan on January 1, Faridoun Mahmadaliyev, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, told Asia-Plus on Tuesday.

Issues related to the current situation in Central Asia and establishment of peace and security in Afghanistan were the focus of the meeting of Gerard Lonquet with his Tajik counterpart Sherali Khairulloyev.

Tajik Defense Minister Sherali Khairulloyev reportedly appreciated French Defense Ministry support for training of personnel for Tajik national army, exchange of operational information, conducting joint exercises and expressed confidence that bilateral cooperation would continue expanding in the future as well.

During his stay in Dushanbe, French defense minister also visited the place of deployment of the French Air Force contingent.  The contingent’s mission is to provide technical support for NATO operations in Afghanistan.  The airport serves as a key logistics and supply hub for French troops in Afghanistan.