DUSHANBE, February 10, 2011, Asia-Plus -- General James Mattis, commander of U.S. Central Command, visited Tajikistan on February 9 as part of his initial round of engagements in the region.

According the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe, General James Mattis met with President Emomali Rahmon and other senior Tajik officials to exchange views on regional issues, better understand the security situation, and thank them for their support for coalition efforts in Afghanistan.

He pointed out that Tajikistan’s extraordinary cooperation has been a tremendous help to stabilizing the region. General Mattis reaffirmed Central Command’s intention to continue cooperation with the Tajik government on issues of common concern in the future.

In the meantime, Tajik presidential press service reports that President Rahmon noted during the meeting that Tajikistan attaches significance to expansion of cooperation with the United States.

The sides expressed satisfaction with the level of cooperation between the two countries in providing regional security.

It was noted that implementation of regional projects on construction of roads and power transmission lines to Afghanistan would promote providing stability in the region, the presidential press service said.

In the course of the talks, the sides also exchanged views on issues related to the fight against terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking as well as strengthening of the Tajik-Afghan border.