US CENTCOM commander confers with Central Asian leaders in Tashkent



Commander of US CENTCOM Gen. Joseph L. Votel (right) shakes hands with Kazakh Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Murat Maikeyev in an undated photograph. Votel was in Tashkent February 20-21 for meetings with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and military leaders from Central and South Asia. [US Embassy in Uzbekistan]

TASHKENT -- Gen. Joseph L. Votel, the commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM), has concluded talks in Uzbekistan with the country's president and a number of Central and South Asian military leaders.

Votel on Thursday (February 21) attended the Central and South Asia Chiefs of Defence Conference in Tashkent.

Other participants included the chiefs or deputy chiefs of general staffs of the militaries of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan, as well as Uzbek Defence Minister Bakhodir Kurbanov, according to the Uzbekistan National News Agency.

Topics included multi-lateral military co-operation, the increase of threats and challenges in various regions, and a search for solutions to the Afghan war.

After the conference, Votel thanked Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and the Ministry of Defence for their hospitality.

"As the first partner nation in Central Asia to join US Central Command in hosting this conference, Uzbekistan is taking a vital role in advancing security and stability in Central and South Asia," he said in a statement published by the US Embassy on Friday.

"I also want to thank all of the participating nations of Central and South Asia for demonstrating their commitment to regional security and for continuing to advance dialogue and co-operation on addressing the threats to stability in the region," he said.

The military conference came one day after Mirziyoyev and Votel met to discuss a variety of bilateral issues, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mirziyoyev said that "fruitful high-level negotiations" with US President Donald Trump during his visit to the United States last May "opened a new era of strategic full-scale partnership between the two countries".

"Multifaceted Uzbekistan-American relations are consistently strengthening, joint programmes and projects are being implemented in innovations, industry, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and others," the statement said. "The trade turnover in 2018 has doubled."

Mirziyoyev and Votel devoted "special attention" to expanding Uzbek-US military and military-technical co-operation, according to the ministry.

Votel expressed hope that the two countries would be able to form a strategy for strengthening their partnership and bringing about regional peace and prosperity.

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You don't understand a thing. Americans do a good job!


What is this general hoping for, the US influence is dying out all over the world and Central Asia is no exception. These are just diplomatic convulsions, desperate attempts to create an illusion of some meaningful action only aimed at PR.


Was it Votel who recently said Washington intended to re-arm Uzbekistan??? It is hard to take such fantisizers seriously )))))


The USA deployed its troops to Afghanistan under this very pretense. It resulted in 18 years of the civil war, drug trafficking flourish and terror attacks every day, let alone ISIL supported by the Pentagon in the north and the regions bordering Central Asia...


Once this "partnership and bringing about regional peace and prosperity" cost Libya collapse of the country and turning this thriving region into a territory controlled by militants and gangs.


These visits pursue only one objective - an attempt to bribe local generals and impose flawed American equipment and weapons contracts on armed forces in the republics


Apparently Mr. Votel was hoping to win loyalty of the regional leaders to the State Department policies in exchange for a bunch of rapidly aging military equipment ))))))


Why do they believe in the United States it's their duty to meddle in the politics of the Central Asian countries? The US national debt exceeds their budget several years ahead. They should pay off their debts to other countries and then we will see what kind of super-power the USA is...


This Votel guy's got one hell of a beak! He can use this schnozzle in a bayonet attack


Expanding Uzbek-American military and military-technical cooperation will mean this for Tashkent: first off, [Americans] hook them on financial aid and then start dictating terms. The result is devastation of the country and decline of the region.


[They] promised to get out from Afghanistan, but are still searching for solutions to the Afghan war.


Instead of trying to end the conflict they have rather achieved what they aimed for - control of the drug trafficking, a good training ground for militants who can be used in order to interfere with the regimes of other countries etc. Wherever they get into, they leave devastation and chaos. They don't like it when other countries don't dance to their tunes


Afghanistan is the incubator of militants. Uzbekistan is not exactly a breeding ground for terrorism, but opening yet another base in this country is not a bad idea.


Calm down! Peace and the USA are antonyms