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BISHKEK, March 2 (Itar-Tass) — Kyrgyzstan and Britain discussed opportunities to expand the so-called northern route for supplies to enter and leave Afghanistan during UK Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey’s visit to Bishkek, the Central Asian republic’s Defence Ministry told Itar-Tass on Friday.
At the same time the ministry did not disclose the names of Kyrgyz senior officials who participated in the meeting.
“Kyrgyzstan is considering the development of the northern route for supplies of military equipment and hardware, mainly through Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, as it is fixed in a draft agreement between Britain and Kyrgyzstan on transit of military personnel and hardware through the republic’s territory to Afghanistan,” the press service said.
Meanwhile, the republic’s Defence Ministry underlined that Nick Harvey arrived in Kyrgyzstan on a study visit to establish personal contacts and discuss military cooperation.
“During the talks the U.K. defence minister briefed the Kyrgyz authorities on Britain’s policy in Afghanistan,” the press service said adding that Britain plans to ensure successful transition to Afghan control of responsible functions to ensure security in that country after winding down military operations there by 2014.
The Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry told Itar-Tass that Harvy also met with Deputy Foreign Minister Dinara Kemelova.
“During their meeting they discussed international and regional security, in particular the situation in Afghanistan,” the ministry’s press service said. “They reached an agreement to step up bilateral cooperation in many directions.”
Kemelova stressed importance of promoting projects on restoration and development of neighbouring Afghanistan with Kyrgyzstan’s participation and emphasized Britain’s assistance in ensuring regional security.