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20 October 2004 -- NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer is due to visit Uzbekistan and Tajikistan as he continues his tour of Central Asian countries.
Scheffer, who visited Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan on 20 October, has been emphasizing the importance of cooperation between the Central Asian states and U.S. and NATO-led coalition forces in Afghanistan.
NATO, which has been leading a security force in Kabul, is planning to expand its presence in western Afghanistan.
In both Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, the NATO chief stressed the need for joint action between NATO and the Central Asian states in battling terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, drug-trafficking, and what he called "failed states."
Scheffer is due to visit Turkmenistan on 21 October.