DUSHANBE (TCA) — The United States supports Tajikistan’s goals of security, democratic reform, and economic growth, the new U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan Elisabeth Millard wrote in her introductory Op-Ed “Tajikistan and America: A Partnership for a Bright Future,” posted on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe on March 16.
Ambassador Millard wrote that since establishing diplomatic relations in 1992, the U.S. has provided over $1 billion in assistance to Tajikistan and these funds are used to improve food security, strengthen education and healthcare, develop local governance and civil society, and bolster Tajikistan’s sovereignty and security.
“Regional problems like terrorism and violent extremism, illegal narcotics trade, and trafficking in persons are deeply concerning to both Tajikistan and the United States,” the Ambassador wrote. “The Embassy of the United States in Dushanbe is working in cooperation with the Government of Tajikistan, as well as other international partners, on a broad range of initiatives to help Tajikistan continue to develop its capacity to understand, identify, deter, and defeat legitimate internal and external threats, while respecting human rights and the rule of law. These initiatives support our mutual goals of promoting peace, security, and stability in Central Asia and beyond.”
She went on by saying that the United States seeks a peaceful, free, and prosperous future for Tajikistan and Central Asia. The long-term security, stability, and prosperity that Tajikistan desires can only come through a strong commitment to improving governance, respect for rule of law, development of the economy and business environment, and protection of its people’s rights and freedoms. “We intend to continue to promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including religious freedom, while also supporting Tajikistan’s efforts to counter violent extremism,” the Ambassador said.
“We seek to prepare Tajikistan to increase its economic prosperity. Historically, Tajiks were a nation of traders, and we will work together with the government, business associations, and entrepreneurs to further improve the business climate for investments in this country. We will promote economic cooperation with Tajikistan’s neighbors to stimulate greater prosperity and stability across the region. Tajikistan is also a critical partner for regional initiatives like the New Silk Road initiative. Through electricity grids and transit corridors, like those promoted through the CASA-1000, Tajikistan links Central Asia with South Asia and beyond,” the new U.S. Ambassador wrote.
Ambassador Millard presented her credentials to Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon on March 11.
Ambassador Millard is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. Prior to becoming Ambassador to Tajikistan, she served as Deputy Executive Secretary of the Department of State, a position she held since 2013.
Ms. Millard’s assignments include Kazakhstan, where she served as the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission; Morocco, Nepal, India, Denmark, and the Czech Republic. In Washington, she served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for South and Central Asian Affairs at the National Security Council.