Great Britain may sell military equipment to Uzbekistan after withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan
Great Britain will sell military hardware to Uzbekistan in exchange for safe passage for the thousands of vehicles and containers that are to be brought home from Afghanistan, RIA Novosti reported on Friday, Times reported with reference to British Defense Minister Philip Hammond.
London plans to complete withdrawing troops from Afghanistan by late 2014.
According to the draft agreement, which has not been discussed by the British Parliament, Uzbekistan will ensure transporting British equipment through its territory. During his visit to the Afghan province, Hammond said that the treaty is under ratification.
"We do not sell weapons that can be used for internal repression of any country," he said. "However, after 2014 Uzbekistan will face new risks. The matter rests not only in protection from the rebels or the Islamists, but fight against crime and drug trafficking."
The minister said that the British military equipment that can be sold at a reduced price to Tashkent, will help increase security at the Uzbek-Afghan border, which will be vulnerable after withdrawing the international coalition from Afghanistan. According to Times, other participants of the international operation in Afghanistan - the U.S. and Germany have already voiced their intention to trade with Uzbekistan.
After withdrawing foreign troops from Afghanistan, part of the British equipment will remain in this country, or destroyed. According to the British military leadership, up to 80 tons of military equipment is taken out of Afghanistan every two days. But after the 11 year operation, there are still 6,500 containers with ammunition and 2,600 vehicles.