Kyrgyzstan informs envoy about US base closure

Kyrgyzstan informs envoy about US base closure
Thu Nov 14, 2013 17:27:12

The Kyrgyz foreign ministry has notified the US ambassador in Kyrgyzstan it is going to shut down the US Manas air base in July 2014, media say.

Kyrgyz foreign policy chief Erlan Abdyldayev today handed a notification to US ambassador in Kyrgyzstan, Pamela Spratlen, saying the lease of the air base runs out on July 14 of the next year.

A spokesperson with the Kyrgyz foreign office told the media Bishkek meant to warn Washington about its decision to pull out of the deal six months prior to denouncing the contract, as it was stipulated in the agreement on the Manas lease.

The Manas air base was opened in December 2001 and initially housed forces of several NATO allies.

As time passed, the contingent melted down to US troops, who used the base as a transit center for their Afghan operations codenamed Enduring Freedom.

Earlier in February, Kyrgyzstan said its decision to shut a US air base was final, dealing a blow to Washington’s efforts to retain what has been a major staging post for US forces fighting in Afghanistan.

The United States said it was still in talks with Kyrgyzstan about keeping the Manas base in the impoverished former Soviet republic and traditional Russian ally.

Kyrgyzstan’s stance has set a tough challenge for new US President Barack Obama, who plans to send additional troops to Afghanistan.


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