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Ex-U.S. official on increased role of Azerbaijan, Europe's energy security, Central Asia and Iran's nuclear issue

7 February 2013

en.trend.az of 2/7/2013 - Central Asia (Extract.  Read full report here)

The U.S. is interested in a complete policy with Central Asian countries, David Merkel said.

According to Merkel, people in the Central Asian governments think the U.S. is only interested in this region for its energy resources, promoting democracy and for making war with Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the U.S. assesses the region as being very important and wants to have a complete policy with these countries, he said.
According to Merkel, currently Central Asia is seeing the US and Europe's presence and influence decline and this could result in increasing the region's dependence on Russia or China.
The region should refrain from being pressurised by other countries. It is one of the most important challenges for this region, Merkel said.