US CENTCOM officer visits Bishkek to discuss co-operation
BISHKEK -- US Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Michael E. Langley, director of plans and policy for US Central Command (CENTCOM), met with senior Kyrgyz military officials in Bishkek Wednesday-Thursday (February 27-28) for talks on co-operation, the US Embassy in Kyrgyzstan said in a statement.
Langley conferred with senior officials of the Kyrgyz General Staff and visited the Pantera special operations brigade to observe the military's counter-terrorism capabilities.
"Langley's visit is the latest in a series of visits by senior US government officials aiming to strengthen bilateral relations and identify opportunities to expand co-operation between the United States and the Kyrgyz Republic," said the statement.
Central Asian states are key strategic partners and major contributors to regional security and stability, said Langley.
He underlined that the US government supports the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Central Asian nations and "contributes to their resilience in the face of security threats", the statement said.
Langley's visit to Bishkek came after the annual Central and South Asia Chief of Defence Conference held February 21 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. This year, CENTCOM commander US Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel co-hosted the conference in Tashkent with the Uzbek Ministry of Defence.
Votel updated senior regional military leaders on security issues in Afghanistan and discussed current and future partnership opportunities, the statement said.
The conference allows the United States and regional partners to share knowledge and experience, "which strengthens partner nations' abilities to work together to face emerging contingencies", according to the statement.