Brussels: NATO on Tuesday signed a deal with three Central Asian countries -- Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan – to use their territories for evacuating military equipment as it winds down the Afgan operation.
"We reached agreement on reverse transit from Afghanistan with three Central Asian partners: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan," NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a press conference.
"The agreements will give us a range of new options and the robust and flexible transport network we need," he added.
The new deal will enable NATO to return equipment to Europe overland via Russia. The deal will permit the alliance to send tens of thousands of vehicles, containers, and other items to Europe.
NATO already had struck such an agreement with Russia.
Since October 2001, Pakistan has been the main supply route for US-led forces occupying Afghanistan.
Transit routes for the withdrawal are proving a major headache for the US-led ISAF operation in Afghanistan, with massive ammounts of materiel dispatched in the decade-long war.
The US-led NATO operation in Afghanistan is due to wind down completely by the end of 2014.