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Kerry Reassures Tajikistan On Security Issues

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry extends his hand to Tajik President Emomali Rahmon (R) upon his arrival for a meeting at the Palace of Nations in Dushanbe on November 3.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has sought to reassure Tajikistan, an Afghan neighbor concerned about the spread of Islamist militancy, that Washington remains committed to Central Asia nation's security.

Speaking after talks with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon in Dushanbe on November 3, Kerry said he “emphasized the United States' commitment to work with Tajikistan and other countries... to strengthen border security." "We're both deeply concerned about security in Afghanistan and on the border,about counternarcotics and terrorism," he said.

Later, Kerry was due to hold talks with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov in Ashgabat, wrapping up his first trip around Central Asia in more than two years as the top U.S. diplomat.

On November 2 in Kazakhstan, Kerry praised President Nursultan Nazarbaev for his "leadership" in countering Islamic extremism but warned that the threat of terrorism is no excuse for stifling democracy and dissent.

On November 1 in Uzbekistan, Kerry met with his five Central Asian counterparts.

In a joint communique, the six nations stated the intention of the countries to increase cooperation and counter cross-border threats such as terrorism.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP