The United States says it is giving 328 advanced military vehicles to Uzbekistan to be used for counterterrorism and counternarcotics operations.
Daniel Rosenblum, a U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Central Asia, told VOA on January 22 that the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) are used vehicles that are surplus to the U.S. Army.
He added that the vehicles -- which he said are "inherently defensive" and nonlethal -- are being given to Uzbekistan's Defense Ministry.
Rosenblum said the request from Uzbekistan for the vehicles was judged to be legitimate as the vehicles are used only for protective purposes and are ideal for counterterrorism and counternarcotics efforts.
He said delivery of the vehicles began in early December and will continue for several months.
Rosenblum said both Tajikistan and Kazakhstan have also expressed interest in obtaining excess equipment from the U.S. military and those requests are being evaluated.