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U.S. Diplomat Ensher Visits Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan

U.S. diplomat Henry Ensher (file photo)
U.S. diplomat Henry Ensher (file photo)

BISHKEK -- A senior U.S. diplomat is visiting Kyrgyzstan.

Henry Ensher, deputy assistant secretary at the State Department's Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, arrived in Kyrgyzstan after visiting neighboring Tajikistan, the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek said on February 5.

Ensher was expected to meet with top officials and lawmakers to discuss bilateral ties.

Kyrgyz authorities have said that a new Kyrgyz-U.S. cooperation agreement is under discussion.

In July 2015, Bishkek formally terminated a 1993 agreement on cooperation with Washington.

The Central Asian country's government made the move to protest a U.S. decision to grant a human rights award to Azimjan Askarov, a journalist and rights activist who is serving a life sentence in prison after being convicted of "creating a threat to civil peace and stability in society."

Askarov, an ethnic Uzbek, was convicted following ethnic clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan in June 2010 when more than 400 people were killed. He says he was tortured by police.

Ensher was in Tajikistan on February 3-4.