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U.S. Envoy Says Tajik, Afghan Transit Deal Expected Soon

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher

DUSHANBE -- U.S. Assistant Secretary Of State Richard Boucher said a new agreement that will allow U.S. forces to transport nonmilitary NATO cargo through Tajikistan and into Afghanistan will be agreed soon.

Following talks with President Emomali Rahmon and Foreign Minister Hamrokhon Zarifi in Dushanbe on April 20, Boucher told RFE/RL's Tajik Service that Washington pledges continued support for Tajikistan.

With the upcoming closure of the U.S. air base at Kyrgyzstan's Manas Airport, U.S. officials have sought a new base for planes to bring cargo and other material needed for operations in Afghanistan. Boucher told RFE/RL that the U.S. and Tajik sides are discussing the commercial and technical details of the agreement.

He added that talks were held on how to "protect borders, work together to stop narcotics, and...develop the economic opportunities