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    Afghanistan Poses No Threat to Neighboring Countries - US State Department

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    Richard Hoagland said Washington would not open a military base in Central Asia as US military presence is not required in the region.

    A top al-Qaeda leader who headed suicide and explosive operations for the terrorist group was killed in a US-airstrike earlier in July.
    © Flickr / U.S. Department of Defense
    TASHKENT (Sputnik) — The security situation in Afghanistan neither threatens neighboring Central Asian countries nor requires a US military presence in the region, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Hoagland said Friday.

    Hoagland arrived in Uzbekistan on July 23 for consultations with the country's leadership.

    The diplomat told reporters that the US State Department was aware that there is a belief that countries neighboring Afghanistan are threatened, but does not agree with this assessment.

    The Taliban has built up activities on the Afghani-Tajik border in recent months, triggering fears of the militants' advance to Central Asia. According to data from the non-profit International Crisis Group, about 500 Uzbeks and 300 Kyrgyz joined the ranks of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria in the past several years.

    Hoagland reiterated the United States would not open a military base in Central Asia as US military presence is not required in the region. A base in Kyrgyzstan, shut down in 2014, was the last US military facility in the area.

    US-led NATO combat forces withdrew from Afghanistan in December 2014 after more than a decade of war.

    In March, US President Barack Obama said all remaining US military bases in the country would be closed by the end of 2016.

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    U.S. Department of State, security, Taliban, Richard Hoagland, Afghanistan, United States
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