Kazakh Senate rejects sending troops to Afghanistan (UPDATE)

Kazakh Senate rejects sending troops to Afghanistan (UPDATE)

Details about the vote in the Senate added (previous news posted at 12:44)

Azerbaijan , Baku, 9 June/ Trend/

Kazakh Senate, the Upper House of the Kazakh Parliament, on Thursday rejected a bill to send troops to join NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, Novosti-Kazakhstan reported.

"The International Affairs, Defense and Security Committee has proposed to reject the bill and return it to the Majilis [Lower House]," lawmaker, co-rapporteur of the same bill Mukhtar Altynbayev said.

He mentioned that according to the Constitution of Kazakhstan, decisions on joining of Kazakh military forces to the international missions are taken at the joint meetings of both Houses of Parliament.

"Right now the US is thinking about how to get its troops out of Afghanistan," said Senate deputy Svetlana Zhalmagambetova before the upper house voted to reject the measure, DPA reported referring to the Interfax news agency.

"Is it worth it to ruin our reputation as a peaceful country at the very last moment of the war?" she said.

On 18 May Kazakh Majilis approved a bill to send four officers to Afghanistan to support the coalition forces for a period of six months. Subsequently, the deadline may be extended.

A few days later, on 22 May the Afghan Taliban have threatened Kazakhstan by "serious consequences" for the decision of the leadership of the country where Muslim population predominates to take part in the war of allies in Afghanistan.

The Kazakh Foreign Ministry reacted by saying that it was planning to send just four officers to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) staff.

Kazakhstan is not the first and the only state with Muslim population participating in the war in Afghanistan. The international coalition includes 47 countries, 19 of which are not included in NATO and six are the members of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).

The coalition forces have been deployed in Afghanistan since 2001 when the U.S. began its war against international terrorism.

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