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NATO to use ‘Central Asian Routes’ for ‘reverse transit’

Wed Jun 06, 12:51 pm

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance had reached an agreement with three central Asian countries to begin removing equipment from Afghanistan using their routes.  The reverse transit of NATO equipment may begin later this year, he said.

Based on the agreement, NATO will evacuate coalition forces’ equipment from Afghanistan using land routes of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

The decision came after Pakistan had closed it routes for NATO supplies in reaction to the killing of 26 of its soldiers during a NATO air strike in Salala check-post, bordering to Afghanistan.

It’s said that Pakistani routes were cheaper for NATO supplies than any other.

Referring to the need to accelerate the transfer of security responsibilities to Afghan forces, Rasmussen said, “NATO will complete the security transition process within its specified timetable.”

He stated that Afghan troops would cover 75 percent of their territory after the third round of transition process was implemented.

During that period Afghan forces may face hard challenges, he said, adding overall that the Afghan forces were capable of defending their soil.

During a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General, the Prime Minister of New Zealand John Phillip Key pledged to continue the military mission to equip and train Afghan troops.

This comes as NATO top leaders decided in Chicago summit to complete the security transition process and withdraw from Afghan soil by the end of 2014.

During the Chicago summit, the international community promised to continue supporting Afghanistan beyond 2014 and won’t leave Afghanistan to fend for itself.

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