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U.S. Ambassador Visits Tajik-Afghan Border


U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan Kenneth Gross (second from left)

U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan Kenneth Gross (second from left)

NIZHNIY PYANJ, Tajikistan -- The U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan has said the United States is working with Russia and the European Union to strengthen control over Tajikistan's southern border with Afghanistan, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Ambassador Kenneth E. Gross made the comment during a visit to the border at Nizhny Pyanj, in Khatlon province, on March 17.

Gross inspected a bridge built with U.S. funding across the Pyanj river that marks the border and took part in a graduation ceremony for 24 Tajik and Afghan border guards and customs officers trained under a special program organized by the United States.

Gross noted that Russian border guards were deployed for a long time along that border and Russian military advisers remain there.

Speaking on March 17 in Dushanbe, Nikolai Bordyuzha, the secretary general of the CIS Collective Security Treaty Organization, said Afghanistan is incapable of neutralizing the threat posed to Central Asia by Islamic insurgents.

He said for that reason, international forces should remain in Afghanistan as their withdrawal would create further problems for the entire region.

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