Relations with Central Asia should be high priority for U.S.: former official of White House

Politics Materials 23 August 2009 09:00 (UTC +04:00)

The United States, Washington, Aug. 22 / Trend , N.Bogdanova/

Relations with the Central Asian countries should be a high priority for the United States, believes Frank Verrastro, Director for Energy and National Security Program at the Centre for Strategic and International Study (CSIS).

"The US bilateral relationships with the region still need to be a high priority," former official of the White House, Verrastro told Trend .

The US interests in Central Asia are many and varied - range from diplomatic/security to counter terrorism to energy and climate (in no particular order). The US government needs and intends to reformulate its relations and policy based on a combination of ongoing desires and current circumstances, Verrastro said.

Geopolitical landscape has changed since the early 1990s when independence and sovereignty were at issue for Central Asian republics, the political scientist said.

"I believe there is a general recognition that we (incorrectly) made energy the almost exclusive focus of regional policy," Verrastro said. "There are attempts to hear what individual nations in the region need and wants and aspire to as well as focus on what the US believes it needs from the relationship."

He said Russia is more resilient and focused than was the case in the 1990s, but US bilateral relationships with the region still need to be a high priority.

Russia, China, Iran and the US all have interests (in Central Asia) - sometime parallel, sometimes at odds, Verrastro believes.


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