June 15, 2011 defpro.com
ASTANA | Kazakhstan's parliament has decided to abstain from joining the NATO-led international coalition in Afghanistan, a member of the lower house said on Wednesday, according to RIA Novosti.
Nurtai Sabilyanov said the parliament would not consider a bill on ratifying the agreement with NATO at its joint session.
"Given the opinion of the senate and the public, the Majilis [lower house] will return the agreement to the government and it will have no legal effect because of the non-ratification by parliament," Sabilyanov said.
Majilis ratified the agreement with NATO on May 18 but the upper house turned the bill down on June 9 pending a decision from a joint parliamentary session.
"We must not send [our] military to Afghanistan, it is clear to all," he said.
On May 22, the Taliban circulated a statement warning Kazakhstan that if it sends troops to support the NATO contingent in Afghanistan, it would bear serious consequences as it contradicts the interests of all countries in the region.
The Kazakh Foreign Ministry then said that it was only going to send four officers into the International Security Assistance Force.
The international coalition in Afghanistan includes 47 nations, with 19 of them not NATO members and six of them belonging to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. (RIA Novosti)