Exercise Regional Cooperation has nothing to do with recent security operation conduced in Tajikista

23/09/2015 10:18
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, September 23, 2015, Asia-Plus – Exercise Regional Cooperation 2015 has nothing to do with security operation that was conducted by the government forces against Abduhalim Nazarzoda and his supporters in Tajikistan from September 4 to September 16, U.S. Major-General Rick B. Mattson told reporters in Dushanbe on September 22.

“We have conducted Exercise Regional Cooperation since 2001 and we have conducted it in different places.  It was our good fortunate that Tajikistan invited us.  This has nothing to do with events in Tajikistan because we draw plans of conducting the exercise a year in advance,” Rick B. Mattson noted.

U.S. general was complimentary about Tajikistan’s armed forces and noted that the best result was the formation of the peacekeeping battalion in 2010.

U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan Susan M. Elliott said that the exercise was an evidence of cooperation between Tajikistan and the United States.  “Our common goal is to combat terrorism, drug trafficking and other manifestations of extremism,” Ms. Elliott noted.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe, Exercise Regional Cooperation, the largest annual, multilateral U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) command-post exercise, kicked off in Dushanbe on September 16 and runs through September 23.

This year’s event includes 187 participants and support personnel from the United States, Pakistan, and Mongolia, who will partner with Tajikistan’s Ministry of Defense counterparts to strengthen relationships while promoting regional cooperation among participating nations.

Regional Cooperation is United States Central Command’s only multilateral exercise program in Central Asia. The exercise aims to promote cooperation and joint military capabilities among U.S, Central and South Asian states, and other participating nations.

Exercise Regional Cooperation affords participating nations an opportunity to enhance their peacekeeping capabilities and prepare for participation in international efforts through academic seminars and a combined command-post exercise.  The exercise emphasizes processes for coordinating successful multi-national operations, as well as investigating methods to improve civil-military interaction.  These forums also address relevant regional issues associated with a global peace response, security cooperation, and the exchange of information when responding to a peacekeeping mission requiring a regional effort.

The United States and Central and South Asian countries have participated in Exercise Regional Cooperation annually since 2001.  Last year, the exercise was also led by Tajikistan, and held September 14-24, 2014 in Massachusetts.

Tajikistan, in addition to serving as host for this year’s exercise, is an important partner contributing to broader regional stability.  The U.S. and Tajikistan have a broad-based relationship, cooperating in such areas as counterterrorism, counter-narcotics, non-proliferation, and regional growth and stability.  The United States also greatly values partnerships with Pakistan and Mongolia in efforts to ensure a peaceful, stable, and prosperous region.

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