12:04 GMT +316 July 2018
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    Kazakh upper house rejects bill to send troops to Afghanistan

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    The upper house of the Kazakh parliament on Thursday rejected a bill to send troops to fight in the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

    The upper house of the Kazakh parliament on Thursday rejected a bill to send troops to fight in the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

    Kazkhstan's lower house of parliament, the Majilis, approved on May 18 the bill to send Kazakh troops to the war-ravaged southern Central Asian state for a period of at least six months.

    "The International Affairs, Defense and Security Committee has proposed rejecting the bill and returning it to the Majilis," lawmaker Mukhtar Altynbayev said.

    Several days after the Majilis approved the bill, the Taliban issued a statement warning Kazakhstan that a decision to send soldiers to Afghanistan would have "strong implications."

    The Kazakh Foreign Ministry reacted by saying that it was planning to send just four officers to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) staff. The ministry also noted that six counties participating in the international mission are members of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Conference.

    In line with the Kazakh constitution, both houses of parliament must agree to send troops to foreign military operations.

    The U.S.-led coalition has been fighting Taliban militants in Afghanistan since 2001, but attacks on foreign and Afghan troops, police, and civilians are still frequent, with most of them taking place in volatile southern regions.

    U.S. troops are scheduled to begin withdrawing from Afghanistan in July 2011, followed by other contingents involved in the ISAF. Responsibility for security will be gradually handed over to Afghan military and security forces.

    ASTANA, June 9 (RIA Novosti) 

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