Tajik Foreign Ministry Issues Verbal Note Of Protest Over Biden Comments

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Tajikistan's Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. ambassador to the Central Asian nation, John Pommersheim, to make a verbal protest over President Joe Biden's recent comments about the Central Asian nation in relation with the U.S. troops withdrawal from Afghanistan.

"A verbal note of protest was conveyed to the U.S. Ambassador in connection with the statements by the President of the United States of America Mr. Joe Biden during his visit to a fire station in Pennsylvania. The verbal note stated that such statements do not correspond to the spirit of friendly relations and partnership. The Republic of Tajikistan is interested in the development of mutually beneficial relations with the United States of America in the spirit of mutual support and mutual respect," a Tajik Foreign Ministry statement on September 14 said.

The protest was in response to Biden's comments on September 11 at a firehouse in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The president defended the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan despite chaotic scenes at the Kabul airport, where some Afghans desperate to leave the country died after trying to hang on to the landing gear of an aircraft as it took off.

“For example, if we were in Tajikistan and pulled up a C-130 and said we’re going to let, you know, anybody who was involved with being sympathetic to us to get on the plane, you’d have people hanging in the wheel as well," Biden said.

Biden's statement caused a wave of reactions on social media by Tajik users, who criticized Biden's statement saying the two countries are very different and such parallels cannot be made.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.