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Kazakhstan to donate military equipment to Tajikistan

Caravanserai

NUR-SULTAN -- Kazakhstan is planning to provide military aid to Tajikistan in the face of growing security concerns in neighbouring Afghanistan, ASIA-Plus reported Monday (April 15).

The aid is meant to bolster Tajik border defences. Kazakhstan's upper chamber of parliament last Thursday (April 11) approved the transfer of military equipment and ammunition, according to Tengri News.

The transfer requires approval by Kazakh President Kassym-Joomart Tokayev.

The reallocation will not degrade Kazakhstan's defence capabilities, Deputy Defence Minister Talgat Mukhtarov reportedly told lawmakers.

Kazakhstan will pay the cost of shipping the equipment by rail to Dushanbe, added Mukhtarov, who said Tajikistan has promised not to sell or give the equipment to anybody else.

The aid comes at a sensitive time, say Kazakh senators.

"The situation on the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan is deteriorating every day -- terrorist groups ... are trying to smuggle large quantities of drugs," said Kazakh MP Talgat Musabayev.

Kazakh and Tajik officials reportedly signed a pact on one-time Kazakh military aid to Tajikistan last December.

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