Kyrgyz president signs law closing US military base

Kyrgyzstan's president signed a bill Friday to close a key U.S. military air base against Afghanistan.

Kyrgyz president signs law closing US military base

Kyrgyzstan's president signed a bill Friday to close a key U.S. military air base against Afghanistan, the final step before authorities issue a 180-day eviction order.

Kyrgyzstan's parliament approved a government proposal to close Manas air base and the decision was passed by 78 votes to 1 against by the legislature dominated by the ruling Ak Zhol party, reported Reuters.

Manas is the last remaining U.S. air base in Central Asia.

President Kurmanbek Bakiyev announced the closure plans this month after accepting more than $2 billion in aid and credit from traditional ally Russia. He has accused Washington of refusing to pay more rent for use of the base.

Russia has an air base of its own in Kyrgyzstan, located in Kant just a few dozens kilometres away from Manas.

The United States has been looking at alternative supply lines for the ongoing occupation of landlocked Afghanistan as existing routes via Pakistan have become increasingly vulnerable to attacks.

U.S. regional military chief General David Petraeus visited Uzbekistan this week for this aim.

One of the alternative routes, through Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, will soon be tested when a first shipment of non-military goods leaves NATO member Latvia for Afghanistan via their territories.

Agencies


Last Mod: 20 Şubat 2009, 15:45
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