US, Tajikistan reach Afghan transit deal

Almaty, April 22 (Inditop) The US and Tajikistan have reached a deal on sending non-military cargo through Tajik territory to neighbouring Afghanistan, according to reports reaching here Tuesday.

Within one or two months, the US should be allowed to send non-military supplies to Afghanistan, US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher said in Tajik capital Dushanbe.

Earlier, Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have agreed to open their territories for transit of US non-military supplies, including construction materials, water and fuel, to Afghanistan.

The US has been seeking alternative supply routes to Afghanistan after Kyrgyzstan’s parliament passed overwhelmingly the closure of US Manas air base near Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek in February.

The US Army has to withdraw from the Manas facility before Aug 18, 2009 and the air base will then be used as civil airport, according to Kyrgyz officials.