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Kazakhstan Approves Afghanistan Cargo Transit

Kazakhstan's parliament has agreed to allow French aircraft carrying military cargo and personnel out of Afghanistan to land at an airport in south Kazakhstan.

Kazakh lawmakers on Thursday ratified a protocol on amendments to a 2009 agreement with France stipulating that French freight from Afghanistan that arrives by plane will be transported through the country by rail.

Under the protocol, military goods transported through Kazakhstan must not contain ammunition. The document says Kazakhstan can deny transit permission for French cargo if it is deemed to "pose a threat" to the country's national security.

Kazakhstan and France signed an agreement on October 6, 2009 on the security of transit of military equipment and personnel through Kazakhstan as part of efforts to stabilize and rebuild Afghanistan.

In late November, France ended its combat operations in Afghanistan, pulling hundreds of troops from a base in Kabul as part of an accelerated departure from the war-torn country.

[Source: Ria Novosti, Astana, 27Dec12]

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