NATO to close Central Asian office in Tashkent

TASHKENT (TCA) — The NATO Liaison Office in Central Asia will be closed early next year, Rosaria Puglisi, head of the Liaison Office, said in an interview with Fergana information agency. The liaison office is currently based in Tashkent but coordinates the alliance’s activities and cooperation with all the countries in the region.  

“The NATO Liaison Office in Central Asia will indeed be closing at the end of March 2017. The decision is the result of internal budgetary considerations and bears no political character. There has been no pressure, in this direction, either by Uzbekistan or any of the other Central Asian countries the Office works with. On the contrary, we have always felt welcome in the region and have enjoyed an effective and fruitful level of cooperation. Central Asia was and remains a strategic priority for NATO. Partnership will continue and, from April on, it will be conducted directly from Brussels,” Rosaria Puglisi told Fergana.

She added that NATO has a wide range of programs that can help countries reform and modernize their armed forces, make them more efficient and better able to defend their people and their territory, and that each country of the region is welcome to choose whatever program they feel suits better their needs.

Asked about NATO’s future plans for the Central Asian region, Puglisi said NATO remains very much engaged in Central Asia and Afghanistan. In the spirit of the Partnership for Peace Programme, it is up to each of its Central Asian partners to set the pace of its activities and cooperation. As for Afghanistan, she added, as NATO Heads of State confirmed during the Warsaw Summit last July, Afghanistan does not stand alone, and NATO remains politically, militarily and financially committed to it for the long haul.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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