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U.K. Defense Secretary In Uzbekistan For Talks

British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond
TASHKENT -- British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond arrived in Tashkent on February 28, the Uzbek Defense Ministry told RFE/RL.

Uzbek officials did not give any details concerning Hammond's agenda in Uzbekistan. British media report that Hammond will discuss facilitating the withdrawal of British forces from Afghanistan via other Central Asian states.

On February 27, Hammond was in Kazakhstan where he signed a defense-cooperation agreement connected to the Afghanistan withdrawal.

Britain, like the rest of the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan, plans to complete the withdrawal of its forces by the end of 2014.