Promise of Commitment
[The United States] is now linked with this region [the five countries of Central Asia - Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan] in ways we could never have imagined before September 11 [when terrorists hijacked planes and crashed into the New York World Trade Center and the Pentagon].
We have a vision for this region - that it becomes stable, peaceful, and prosperous. We have a vision that the individual countries will markedly accelerate their economic reforms and democratic credentials, respect human rights and develop vibrant civil societies.
We have a vision that the countries of this region will become increasingly integrated into the global economy via an East-West Corridor of cooperation stretching from China and Afghanistan across the Caucasus to the Mediterranean. We share this vision with the well-educated, ambitious, hard-working people of these new countries. We are engaging seriously - and for the long term - with Central Asia.
We have told the leaders of these countries that in the future America will not forget those who stand by us now. After this conflict is over, we will not abandon Central Asia. We are committed to providing the resources, the high-level attention and the multinational coordination to support reform opportunities. We want to stand by the Central Asian countries in their struggle to reform their societies in the same way they have stood by us in the war on terrorism. This is not only a new relationship, but a long-term relationship.
Jones, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for European and Eurasian
Affairs, testimony on December 13, 2001 to U.S. Senate Foreign
Relations Committee, Subcommittee on Central Asia and the Caucasus.