UK & World News

  • 13 February 2013, 23:01

Army 'Gifts' 450,000 Of Kit To Uzbekistan

Britain is to give Uzbekistan 450,000 of military kit after it agreed to help with the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the equipment, which includes 100,000 of Land Rover spare parts and 50 Leyland DAF trucks worth 7,000 each, would be "gifted" to the country.

In return, the UK will be allowed to use Uzbekistan to repatriate equipment as operations in Afghanistan wind down.

Responding to concerns over the country's human rights record, which Human Rights Watch describes as "atrocious",Mr Hammond said he was confident the kit would not be used for "internal repression".

"Uzbekistan has already played a constructive role in helping to secure Afghanistan's stability but will face increased security challenges once Isaf (the International Security Assistance Force) has withdrawn," he said.

"We have therefore been examining options for gifting surplus UK equipment to help meet those challenges."

Around 4bn of kit, including 6,500 storage containers, is due to be brought home before 2015.

Thousands more containers are expected to be abandoned, destroyed or given to Afghan security forces.

According to documents released by the Ministry of Defence, the Land Rover parts are "major assemblies" and are "commercially available".

The UK will fund the transportation of the kit, which is expected to start this year. The bill will be met from the Treasury reserve.

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