Gen. James N. Mattis, Commander of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), visited Turkmenistan January 11 to meet with Turkmen leaders. It was Gen. Mattis' first trip to Turkmenistan since assuming command last August at CENTOM, which oversees U.S. military activities in the Middle East and Central Asia.
The U.S. Embassy did not have any comment other than to report the visit, but the State News Agency of Turkmenistan (TDH) said Gen. Mattis met with President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov to discuss global security, drugs, organized crime, and terrorism -- the ambitious agenda TDH describes for every visiting government or military dignitary. Gen. Mattis was portrayed by TDH as merely saying that the U.S. hopes to develop "versatile collaboration" with Turkmenistan which it views as "a dependable partner."
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Catherine A. Fitzpatrick compiles the Turkmenistan weekly roundup for EurasiaNet. She is also editor of EurasiaNet's Sifting the Karakum blog. To subscribe to the weekly email with a digest of international and regional press, write email@example.com