Tajikistan, Uzbekistan approve NATO supply transit

February 20th, 2009 - 7:06 pm ICT by ANI  

Dushanbe, Feb. 20 (ANI): Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have approved the transportation of non-military NATO supplies for Afghanistan via their territory, a US military commander said on Tajik state television. Tajikistan has allowed (NATO) to use its railways and roads to transit non-military goods to Afghanistan, said Rear Admiral Mark Harnitchek of the US Transportation Command. Washington is looking for alternative supply routes for NATO troops stationed in Afghanistan after militants in Pakistan stepped up their attacks on supply fleets. On Thursday, Tajikistan’’s Central Asian neighbour Kyrgyzstan decided to close a US military air base, removing one of the US military’’s supply routes into Afghanistan. Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev signed the base closure decision into law on Friday. The Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry is now expected to hand an official eviction note to the United States. In that case, Washington will have 180 days to wrap up its operations in Kyrgyzstan. We plan to ship 50 to 200 containers a week from Uzbekistan to Tajikistan and then to Afghanistan. Tajikistan is very important because it is closest to our bases, Harnitchek said. The United States has said earlier that cargo such as building materials, medicines and water would be delivered to Uzbekistan by rail via Russia and Kazakhstan. (ANI)

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