DUSHANBE -- U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan Tracey Ann Jacobson denied that Washington is involved in a new "Great Game" in Central Asia with Russia or China, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.
Jacobson, who finishes her three years as ambassador in Dushanbe this month, told RFE/RL that she has read in the media about this "Great Game idea," but said "we are not playing any kind of game."
She continued that the United States is "conducting [its] relationship with each country of Central Asia as an independent, sovereign state." Jacobson said that Washington's ties with Central Asia countries are not part of "some bigger issue."
She praised Tajik President Emomali Rahmon's "Open Door Policy" of balancing relations with Washington, Beijing, and Moscow, saying "in this region that policy makes lots of sense."
Turning to democratic development, Jacobson said the important thing is for Tajikistan to be heading in the right direction in the democratic process, underlining that February's parliamentary elections are an opportunity for the Tajik government to take a step forward in that process.
Jacobson became ambassador to Tajikistan in 2006 after serving for three years as U.S. ambassador in Turkmenistan.