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Britain's Defense Secretary Philip Hammond

Britain's Defense Secretary Philip Hammond

The UK government has clinched a deal with Uzbekistan to use the country as a route for returning 4 billion pounds of military equipment from Afghanistan in the wake of a gradual pullout of troops from the country, announced Defense Secretary Philip Hammond. The deals comes after Britain announced that it will reduce the number of its troops in Afghanistan from the current almost 9,000 to about 5,200 by the end of 2013. The Defence Secretary told the House of Commons that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has selected Uzbekistan because the only current transit route for equipment through Pakistan “would be hard pressed to meet the capacity demands of the drawdown”. Britain would be bringing home about 2,500 vehicles and 6,500 storage containers, he said. “Under the arrangement, some 450,000 pounds of surplus equipment - Land Rover spare parts and Leyland DAF trucks - will be ”gifted” to Uzbekistan”, according to the Defence Secretary. MOL/HE
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