US Foreign Strategy Recognizes Importance of Central Asia, Says US Official

ASTANA – The United States recognizes the importance of Central Asia in its foreign strategy when dealing with issues spanning from terrorism, energy security to climate change, said Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the US National Security Council John Kirby during a Feb. 8 press briefing in Washington, reported Kazinform. 

U.S. National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby. Photo credit: Jim Bourg/REUTERS

Answering the question about changes to the US strategy on Central Asia, given that it had been adopted during the US presence in Afghanistan and the geopolitical situation had changed since then, Kirby said the US is grateful to the Central Asian countries for their support and assistance during the US presence in Afghanistan.

“We have been grateful to the Central Asian countries for the support many of them provided us while we were fighting in Afghanistan. We continue to stay closely linked and in conversation with many of those countries, particularly now that we are not in Afghanistan, and recognizing continued credible threat by groups like ISIS [the Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] in the region,” Kirby said. 

Addressing any revisions to the Central Asia strategy, Kirby said the US Department of State is more competent to comment on whether the strategy is being updated.

Kazakhstan and the US have developed a strong bilateral partnership since Kazakhstan’s independence, signing an enhanced strategic partnership in 2018.

One of the latest milestones was when the two countries adopted a Joint Statement on Human Rights and Democratic Reforms in Washington on Jan. 24 at the second meeting of the annual US-Kazakhstan High-Level Dialogue on Human Rights and Democratic Reforms. 

According to the Kazakh Economic Research Institute report issued last September, the US is among the top three investors in the country’s economy, with $48.8 billion in total foreign direct investment (FDI), comprising nearly 13.5 percent of total FDI invested in the country. 

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