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Afghanistan, Kazakhstan sign military co-operation agreement

The governments of Afghanistan and Kazakhstan have signed a co-operation agreement aimed at “paving the way for military-to-military mutual support across various domains”, according to an 18 June statement by the Office of the National Security Council (NSC) in Kabul.

The deal was signed the same day between Afghan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib and Kazakh Defence Minister Nurlan Yermekbayev in Nur-Sultan, with the NSC stating that the agreement enables “joint exercises, military medicine co-operation, equipment modernisation, logistical and technical support, battle training and military intelligence collaboration between the two nations”.

Mohib, who headed a high-level delegation to Nur-Sultan also met with the chief of Kazakhstan's National Security Committee, Karim Massimov, with the two sides saying that they are in the process of “building a foundation for [a] security co-operation”.

The previous day Mohib had met with Kazakh Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tleuberdi and discussed “practical co-operation” on military issues, including equipping the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), among other things, noted the NSC in an announcement made via Twitter.

The military co-operation deal comes amid a rapidly deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan as US and coalition troops leave Afghanistan and the fighting between the Taliban and the ANDSF intensifies.

The UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team noted in a report published on 1 June that the Taliban's current strategy appears to be aimed at “further strengthening strangleholds around several provincial capitals, seeking to shape future military operations when levels of departing foreign troops are no longer able to effectively respond”.

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