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  Tuesday, November 19, 2019
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The U.S. and Uzbekistan signed on Friday an agreement
The U.S. and Uzbekistan signed on Friday an agreement on the transit of non-lethal supplies to Afghanistan, a Pentagon spokesman said.

Effective today, the U.S. can ship supplies through Uzbekistan via rail, road and air; the "non-lethal" supplies include food, medical supplies, building materials, etc., Bryan Whitman said.

Washington has been searching for new ways to transport cargo to Afghanistan since Kyrgyzstan decided to close the Manas airbase in late February.

However, the Pentagon believes its service personnel could continue their deployment in the ex-Soviet republic if relevant negotiations currently underway were successful, Whitman said.

Ukraine allowed the U.S. to transit its Afghanistan-bound cargoes on Thursday.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday Moscow had not received an official request from Washington on the transit of military equipment to the U.S. contingent in Afghanistan via Russia.

A diplomatic source at NATO's headquarters in Brussels said earlier in the day that the U.S. could deploy another 10,000 troops to Afghanistan later this year. U.S. President Barack Obama earlier sanctioned the deployment in 2009 of over 20,000 service personnel, which will bring the number of U.S. soldiers from the current 38,000 to 68,000.


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