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On June 15th and 16th, U.S. Central Command commander Gen. Erik Kurilla met with leadership from Tajikistan, including President Rahmon, Minister of Defense General Colonel Sherali Mirzo, and Chief of the General Staff General Lieutenant Emomali Sobirzoda.
The leaders discussed critical security issues, including opportunities to improve security along Tajikistan’s approximately 1,400-kilometer border with Afghanistan.
“I came here to reaffirm our commitment to the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Tajikistan,” Kurilla said. “Strong Tajikistan borders are critical to security of the entire Central Asia region.”
During these discussions, Kurilla explained that security cooperation with Tajikistan security forces focuses primarily on counterterrorism and border security operations. CENTCOM provides Tajikistan training, equipment, and infrastructure to defend its border with Afghanistan. CENTCOM support to Tajikistan includes ground sensors, communication equipment, and patrol vehicles to Tajikistan border guards.
The leaders did discuss one future opportunity to improve security cooperation on the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border. “Partnered special operations force training represents an area in which we can work together to beat back extremist groups and defend your border,” said Kurilla. “During the past 20 years, our special operations forces have gained extensive experience fighting terror groups. Our troops can share that experience to the Armed Forces of the Republic of Tajikistan, while gaining knowledge and wisdom from the people of Tajikistan.”
General Kurilla assured the leaders that assistance to Tajikistan will continue. “I am committed to Tajikistan’s sovereignty.”