The United States of America and Uzbekistan are equally interested in strengthening security in Central Asia and furthering the prosperity of the region, the U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan George Krol told the country's media outlets on Wednesday.
Further development of an Uzbek-American dialogue covering the progress in implementing bilateral agreements in various fields were recently discussed by the U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan George Krol and Uzbek Foreign Ministry, the Foreign Ministry reported on Friday.
The U.S. has started to formulate and implement more comprehensive policies for Central Asia. The deepening involvement in the war in Afghanistan is the principal, but not sole cause for this policy initiative. Russia’s attempts to impose its hegemony upon Central Asia and oblige the U.S. to recognize it have triggered a reaction in Washington. Likewise, China’s completion of the pipeline to Turkmenistan and major investment projects in Central Asia forced the U.S. to devise new ways to enhance its energy and economic profile there as well. As a result, in early 2010, we now see the elements of a new and stronger policy initiative towards Central Asia.
George Krol, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs with VOA TV Uzbek Service – Navbahor Imamova.
For years, analysts have argued that the Nabucco natural gas pipeline -- a U.S.-backed effort to transport gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe via Turkey, thus bypassing Russia -- needed to accept gas from Iran if it was to be economically viable. But Iranian involvement in the project, which is intended to reduce European energy dependence on Russian gas exports, has been anathema for U.S. policymakers: Washington's efforts to thwart Iran's ambitions have so far overridden its desire to thwart Russia's.
When Kazakhstan was named 2010 chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Astana pledged to undertake wide-ranging political reforms. But now, just over six months before Kazakhstan takes over the OSCE’s helm, US lawmakers and diplomats are voicing concern that Astana is not serious about fulfilling its commitments.