January 27th, 2010
10:06 AM ET

Kazakhstan says yes to NATO military equipment transit

LONDON, England - On the eve of a conference here Thursday on Afghanistan, NATO has signed an agreement with the foreign minister of Kazakhstan allowing transit through Kazakhstan of supplies for NATO and coalition forces. The agreement allows for supplies to start moving by air from Europe to Afghanistan "in the coming days," according to a statement from NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Meanwhile, a senior U.S. official said Wednesday in London that a separate July agreement between U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev allowing flights of U.S. military equipment through Russian airspace to Afghanistan, is set up but "running more slowly than we would have liked."

That agreement allows up to 4,000 flights a year. The U.S. official said at least three flights have gone and that "technical issues" have been smoothed over.

The one-day London conference on Afghanistan, organized by the United Kingdom, France and Germany, is highlighting European civilian and foreign aid contributions to Afghanistan. Voters in all of those countries have been skeptical about Europe's contribution of troops to the conflict.

NATO also announced that Germany is adding 850 more soldiers and will contribute more to the training mission in Afghanistan.

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Filed under: London conference • Troops
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. taiwan binladin

    Clinton "They (taliban)have to abide by the constitution and the laws of Afghanistan," she said. "That means girls are able to go to school. Girls and women are entitled to get health care. ... Women have the right to participate in the government." it sounds very empty and humerrily even humiliately when your soldier occupied the country meanwhile torture thier man in Baqram air base,bombed thier homes .

    January 29, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. Nathanael [desert voice]

    Johan, I am aware of all this and all possible ramifications of on-land transport. Pakistani experience is a separate issue. You do not send convoys across an insurgent territory. That's close to insane. I repeat, it was hardheaded and insane. This is precisely why I endorsed a totally different route across territories that are historically secured by authoritarian governments, unlike Pakistan and Afghanistan! The idea of on-land transport v. air has to be decided by experts who know exactly how safe are Kazachstan and Turkmenistan, and what they want in exchange. If what you say is true, that it is maybe better to fly all heavy equipment, so be it, if the experts agree. I see enormous costs and limitations to such enterprise. It is the best in emergency, but pre-planned convoys are far less expensive.

    January 29, 2010 at 4:19 am | Report abuse |
  3. Johan

    Nathanael, how do the infrastructure look like in these countries? And what are their political agenda in all this? Maby it´s for the best that "the alliance for Afghanistan" avoid more political pressure in the neighbouring countries and avoid possibilities of sabotage on the convoys and their vital equipment. Please keep in mind what occured along Pakistan border regions and the vital convoys for Nato during 2008/2009. Who much hardwork, money, lives and vital equipment did go up in smoke in those incidents and even today? Maby it´s for the best to do 4000 flights a year instead.

    January 28, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Nathanael [desert voice]

    I do not understand why Kazachstan is not helping NATO to stabilize Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a neighbor of Turkmenistan, which is Kazachstan's neighbor. Turkmenistan could open a land-sea route to Afghanistan for the sake of its own long term strategic interests, in coordination with Kazachstan. This could be arranged between Kazachstan and Turkmenistan and NATO, at the latter's request.

    January 28, 2010 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  5. eyyyy


    January 27, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |