Central & South Asia
NATO signs Afghan exit route deals
Alliance strikes deals with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to remove equipment through their territories.
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2012 10:07
Trucks carrying logistical supplies for NATO forces in Afghanistan, parked at a compound in Karachi, Pakistan [EPA]

NATO has signed a deal with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to remove equipment through their territories as it winds down its operations in Afghanistan, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said.

"We reached agreement on reverse transit from Afghanistan with three Central Asian partners: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan," Rasmussen said at a news conference on Monday.

"These agreements will give us a range of new options and the robust and flexible transport network we need," he said, without offering more detail on the accords.

Transit routes for the withdrawal are proving a major problem for the US-led ISAF operation in Afghanistan, with massive amounts of materiel dispatched in the decade-long war to be pulled out by the end-2014 deadline from a country ringed by high mountain passes.

The Brussels-headquartered alliance is also discussing with Russia the possibility of using Vostochny airport near Ulyanovsk, 900km east of Moscow, as a transit centre for non-lethal equipment from Afghanistan.

Washington, meanwhile, continues to press Pakistan to reopen routes blocked six months ago in retaliation for the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers killed by mistake by US strikes on a border post.

"I still hope that a solution can be found in the very near future," Rasmussen said.


Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.