WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Barack Obama's nominee for ambassador to Tajikistan has told lawmakers that promoting human rights and helping strengthen Dushanbe's support for Afghanistan will top her agenda if confirmed.
Susan Marsh Elliott, a career diplomat and current deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on June 6 that she would encourage the Tajik government to take "concrete steps" on their troubling rights record.
Elliott acknowledged that pushing Dushanbe on rights would have to be balanced with strategic priorities in Afghanistan, which Tajikistan supports as a Northern Distribution network country.
She also expressed confidence that Tajikistan would come into compliance with U.S. sanctions on Iran and vowed to advance that goal.
Elliott's nomination must be approved by the committee and then the full Senate.