Uzbekistan wants to help the United States transform the Northern Distribution Network from a supply route for military cargo bound for Afghanistan into a broader trade network, government officials say.
An Uzbek government delegation – led by First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulaziz Kamilov and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs Sodiq Safaev -- visited Washington from October 13-15. Kamilov and Safaev spoke October 14 at the Atlantic Council in Washington.
“We have a great interest in the development of this Northern Distribution Network. We are cooperating with the United States, and we have to improve this cooperation, and we will reach some more agreements soon,” Kamilov said. “In the future, I think the Northern Distribution Network should not be used only for Afghanistan. We think it will be very important infrastructure for the economic development of the region.”
“The logistical setting-up of this network is still going on, it's an unfolding process,” Safaev added. “The good will is here on both sides, the point is logistics.”
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Joshua Kucera is a Washington, DC,-based freelance writer who specializes in security issues in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East.