DUSHANBE, February 12, 2011, Asia-Plus – An interview of the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia’s Affairs Robert Blake with Asia-Plus.   


Asia-Plus: …You mentioned Egypt and Tunisia.  Do you think similar events may occur in Central Asia’s countries?


Assistant Secretary Blake: I do not want to make comparisons, because all states differ from each other.  But I think that all leaders in different parts of the world must keep their eyes on events in Egypt and many of them might learn lesson from them.  I named several spheres that need big openness.  I hope state leaders will watch intently what is going on in Egypt and think how they could support aspirations of their peoples and their countries.


Asia-Plus: What do you think of recent publication, Top 10 Autocrats in Trouble , in The Time that listed Tajik President Emomali Rahmon among the top ten authoritarian leaders of the world? Do you think this assessment is correct and dark clouds are really hovering over Rahmon’s government? 


Assistant Secretary Blake: Unlike The Time magazine, the Government of the United States does not engage in assigning rankings of their friends.  Let me say that the United States considers Tajikistan as its very important friend…     


(Full interview with Mr. Robert Blake will be published in the next edition of the Asia-Plus newspaper).