NATO negotiates new supply route through Central Asia to Afghanistan
The NATO head Anders Rasmussen reports that the three central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan have agreed to allow NATO supplies through a new land supply route to Afghanistan. The new deal will allow European nations who are withdrawing from Afghanistan over the next few years to return troops and equipment by land through Russia to Europe. It will also provide a temporary alternative for NATO supplies since the Pakistani routes are not still not reopened.
However, the U.S. is intending to stay in Afghanistan until 2024 and the Central Asian route is much more expensive than the sea route with transhipment through Pakistan. Pakistan closed the border to NATO supplies last November and negotiations have still not been completed to reopen the routes. Pakistan has demanded an apology for the incident that provoked the closing. Numbers of Pakistani soldiers were killed in an attack on the a border base. An end to drone attacks was also a requirement but drone attacks are actually increasing. For more see this article.