Following is the text of a joint statement by the U.S. Department of State and Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, announcing the signing today of the U.S.-Kazakhstan Air Transit Agreement in Washington.
Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew J. Shapiro and Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to the United States Erlan Idrissov signed on November 12, 2010, an agreement that will enable the United States to transport by air its personnel and equipment across Kazakhstan’s airspace to support American and Coalition forces in Afghanistan. The signing of this text brings to fruition the commitment made by President Nazarbayev and President Obama when they met in Washington on April 11th and furthers both countries’ endeavors toward regional security in accordance with the spirit of their strategic partnership.
The agreement enhances a United States-Kazakhstan arrangement, under which the United States began transit flights to Afghanistan across Kazakhstan’s airspace in 2001.
It will enable the United States and International Security Assistance Force partners to further enhance crucial transportation routes and decrease the amount of time needed to move personnel and equipment, and needed supplies in support of Coalition forces and the Government and people of Afghanistan. By providing access to new transit routes, Kazakhstan is providing valuable support to the international effort to defeat the violent extremism in Afghanistan and to ensure Afghanistan’s and the region’s security.
Conflict and instability in Afghanistan are threats to the region and the world. Bilateral cooperation, as exemplified concretely by this Air Transit Agreement, helps to counter these negative trends by enabling progress on our common efforts regarding the security, stabilization, and reconstruction of Afghanistan.