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Uzbekistan Sends Technicians To Repair Afghanistan's Mazar-e Sharif Airport


A view of Mazar-e Sharif's airport shows commercial airplanes near the main terminal in early September.

Uzbekistan has sent experts to the northern Afghanistan city of Mazar-e Sharif to help repair its airport equipment and restart operations.

The Uzbek special presidential envoy for Afghanistan, Ismatilla Ergashev, said on December 17 that the technicians would complete their work on the airport early next year.

The assistance reflects a willingness by neighboring Central Asian states to engage with the Taliban after the movement toppled the Western-backed government in mid-August as U.S. and allied forces withdrew.

Uzbekistan has also helped the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other aid groups set up a humanitarian hub in the southern Uzbek border city of Termez.

The UN refugee agency has so far sent 100 tons of humanitarian aid to a logistics center in Termez.

Earlier this week, the UN agency sent its first two aid trucks filled with 40 tons of basic necessities such as kitchen kits and plastic sheeting from the border city to Mazar-e Sharif.

Afghanistan is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe, with more than half of its population at risk of not having enough to eat during the winter, according to the UN.

Based on reporting by Reuters and RFE/RL's Uzbek Service

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