Saturday, January 17, 2009


Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Kyrgyzstan plans to order the U.S. to shut a base in the central Asia nation used to support military operations in Afghanistan, Agence France-Presse reported today, citing a Kyrgyz official it didn't identify.

The government will act within days, under pressure from Russia, the official said, according to the report.

U.S. says not closing its military base in Kyrgyzstan

DUSHANBE (Reuters) - The United States has no plans to close its military airbase in Kyrgyzstan, the U.S. regional military chief said Saturday.

A source close to Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's office told Reuters on January 13 that the Central Asian state was preparing a statement announcing the closure of the base, a key U.S. staging post for its operations in nearby Afghanistan.

U.S. Central Command chief General David Petraeus, visiting Tajikistan as part of a regional tour that also takes him to Kyrgyzstan this weekend, said the United States had no plans to stop using the airbase.

"We look forward to discussing the future of the base there and we certainly have no plans to change anything frankly," he told reporters.

Washington set up the base, now home to more than 1,000 military personnel, in ex-Soviet Kyrgyzstan in 2001 after the start of the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan.

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