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U.S. Military Commander Visits Uzbekistan

U.S. Central Command chief General James Mattis (right) during a visit to Uzbekistan in November 2010
The head of U.S. Central Command, General James Mattis, has met with Uzbek President Islam Karimov in Tashkent to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

According to Uzbek media, the two had talks on "prospects for developing and deepening bilateral relations in areas of mutual interest, including the military and military-technical spheres."

Uzbek-U.S. ties have improved considerably in recent months, some say due to the U.S. need for a safe and reliable exit route from Afghanistan during the "drawdown" process of foreign forces from the territory of Uzbekistan's southern neighbor.

Mattis arrived in Uzbekistan after visiting Pakistan where he and NATO commander in Afghanistan General John Allen met with Pakistani military officials to discuss re-opening Pakistani routes with Afghanistan that have been closed since mistaken U.S. air strikes on Pakistani troops killed 24 soldiers last November.
Based on reporting by UzA,, and AFP