The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute (CACI) organized a briefing to discuss the new U.S. Strategy for Central Asia, Dunyo IA reported.
According to the Embassy of Uzbekistan, the briefing was attended by about 400 people – officials (State Department, Department of Commerce, Office of the Trade Representative, USAID and others), business circles, the expert community and the mass media, including European ones. The moderator was Frederick Starr, Chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program.
Lisa Curtis, Deputy Assistant to the U.S. President and Senior Director for South and Central Asia at the National Security Council, stressed that in February 2020, the United States announced its new strategy for the Central Asian region, based on the changes that have taken place in recent years. According to her, the strategic goal of the United States remains to promote the development of a stable and secure region in which each country is able to pursue its own national goals.
She also said that Washington views Central Asia as an independent geostrategic region, not related to American interests. In addition to supporting the sovereignty and independence of these countries, the main strategic goals of the United States include reducing the level of terrorist threats in Central Asia to promote closer cooperation and regional interconnection. She stressed that the United States supports Afghanistan in advancing the peace process and economic integration with the region, increasing its investment attractiveness for the U.S.
According to Lisa Curtis, the United States is implementing programs to support reform and transformation in the countries of the region, with an emphasis on human development and institutional strengthening. Washington supports religious freedom, encourages legal and administrative reforms and fosters media development. The United States is seeing some positive developments in this regard. Uzbekistan has made great strides in protecting the rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals, which gives positive momentum to the changes taking place throughout the region.
According to the embassy, the US Deputy Assistant to the President welcomed the election of Uzbekistan to the UN Human Rights Council.
According to the White House representative, Uzbekistan is carrying out important reforms, including in the field of combating human trafficking and ensuring freedom of religion. The United States has seen significant progress over the past two years in the Republic. The official visit of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the United States in May 2018, as well as visits by delegations of the two countries to hold meetings and exchanges, contributed to positive trends in the field of human rights. Lisa Curtis expressed confidence that Uzbekistan will have a positive role in the UN Human Rights Council as its new member.