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U.S. Official Calls For Fair Tajik Presidential Election

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake says wider civil liberties are necessary for the further development of civil society.
U.S. Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake has called on Tajikistan's leadership to hold a fair, democratic, and transparent presidential election in November.

Blake made the call at a news conference in Dushanbe after his talks with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon on February 20.

He said that wider civil liberties were necessary for the further development of civil society.

Blake also said Washington did not plan to use Tajikistan's infrastructure during the withdrawal of NATO troops from neighboring Afghanistan, which is to be completed by the end of 2014.

Blake started his two-day visit to Dushanbe on February 20 and has met with NGO representatives and civil-society activists.

Blake is expected to take part in the annual U.S.-Tajik consultations during his stay in Tajikistan.

With reporting by Interfax