From the New York Times: NATO and Kazakhstan completed an agreement on Wednesday that will permit NATO allies to ship cargo through Kazakh territory to Afghanistan, providing an important alternative to vulnerable routes elsewhere.

Kazakhstan was the final holdout in the so-called northern line of communication, which will allow cargo to pass overland from Europe to NATO troops in Afghanistan. Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan have signed similar agreements.

“This allows supplies for our forces to start moving from Europe to Afghanistan, beginning in the coming days, complementing the very important transit route through Pakistan,” NATO’s secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said in a statement in Brussels. (photo: NATO)