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    U.S.-Kazakh deal on 'special cargo' transit to Afghanistan comes into force

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    An agreement between the United States and Kazakhstan on railway transit of U.S. "special cargo" to Afghanistan came into force on Thursday after being published in official newspapers.

    An agreement between the United States and Kazakhstan on railway transit of U.S. "special cargo" to Afghanistan came into force on Thursday after being published in official newspapers.

    The Kazakh parliament, the Majilis, approved the deal on commercial railway transit of U.S. special cargo through the Kazakh territory in late June.

    Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Omarov said the U.S. agreement stipulated the transit of armored personnel carriers.

    NATO and Kazakhstan reached in January an agreement allowing the alliance to supply non-military goods through Kazakh territory to Afghanistan.

    Russia has allowed land and air transit of non-lethal NATO supplies to Afghanistan and promised more assistance in the bloc's operations in the war-torn country by expanding transits, supplying helicopters and training Afghan security forces.

    NATO has also agreed on non-lethal cargo transit to Afghanistan with Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Belarus.

    The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) currently has some 130,000 troops in Afghanistan. U.S. President Barack Obama pledged to send an additional 30,000 soldiers to the war-ravaged country in the first part of 2010 to defeat the Taliban and establish law and order, and then will begin withdrawing troops on July 11.

    ASTANA, July 8 (RIA Novosti)

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