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U.S. Seeking Afghan Supply Route Via Kazakhstan

U.S. General David Petraeus

U.S. General David Petraeus

ALMATY (Reuters) -- The United States is talking to Kazakhstan about using the former Soviet republic as a transit point for supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan, U.S. Central Command chief General David Petraeus has said.

NATO officials have already said the alliance wants to divert some supplies from the traditional route through Pakistan where insurgent attacks have become more intense.

Petraeus met Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev on a visit to the Central Asian country.

"We have discussed Kazakhstan's contribution to the so-called northern transit network which would enable us to supply the Afghanistan troops," he told reporters after the meeting.

Kazakhstan, a country roughly the size of Western Europe, does not border Afghanistan, but could serve as a transit hub for the supply route, analysts say. But that would not require the establishment of a military base in the former Soviet republic and the United States has no such plans, Petraeus said.