On Wednesday May 25, the Foreign Ministry of Tajikistan hosted U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu and a delegation from the United States for the ninth Tajikistan-USA Annual Bilateral Consultations. 

The Tajik MFA information department says the delegations, led by Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu, discussed a wide range of issues related to further expansion of bilateral political, economic, scientific and cultural cooperation between Tajikistan and the United States.

The parties reportedly also exchanged views on a number of regional and international issues being of mutual interest, including issues of addressing modern threats and challenges, human rights issues and strengthening of bilateral relations within international organizations and so forth. 

Mr. Donald Lu began tour of Central Asian nations on May 23 and Kyrgyzstan was the first leg of his tour.  Kyrgyzstan’s Foreign Ministry says he met with Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Jeenbek Kulubayev on the same day.  The parties reportedly discussed current issues of the Kyrgyz-USA relations as well as regional and global agenda.  Separately, they considered the issues of minimizing the negative impact of international sanctions on the economy of Kyrgyzstan and the necessity of intensifying assistance in strengthening border security. By the end of the meeting, parties confirmed their mutual intention to continue a constructive dialogue on a wide range of bilateral cooperation, Kyrgyz MFA noted.

On May 24, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs visited Uzbekistan and he met with Uzbek Deputy PM/Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov on the same day.  Uzbek media reports say the parties discussed topical aspects of multifaceted Uzbek-U.S. ties and commended the tangible progress achieved in cooperation in the field of bilateral and regional partnership.  The sides reportedly also focused on deepening cooperation in trade, economic, investment, transport and logistics areas and explored opportunities for practical cooperation in the field of attracting U.S. businesses to the implementation of projects in Uzbekistan. 

Kazakhstan is the last leg of Mr. Lu’s Central Asian tour.  In Kazakhstan, the delegation is expected to meet with senior Kazakhstani officials and civil society leaders to discuss Kazakhstan’s reform agenda, efforts to strengthen human rights protections, and advance women’s empowerment.

Donald Lu became Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs on September 15, 2021.  Prior to this assignment, Assistant Secretary Lu served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic from 2018 to 2021 and the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Albania from 2015-2018.  Before his posting in Albania, Assistant Secretary Lu worked on the Ebola crisis in West Africa as the Deputy Coordinator for Ebola Response in the Department of State.  Mr. Lu is a Foreign Service Officer with more than 30 years of U.S. government service.

He graduated from Princeton University with both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in international relations.  He speaks Albanian, Russian, Georgian, Azerbaijani, Urdu, Hindi, and West African Krio.