11 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyzstan's newly elected President Kurmanbek Bakiev today questioned the continued presence of U.S. troops on a military base they have used since late 2001.
At his first news conference since yesterday's elections, Bakiev said the necessity of the U.S. base in his country should be discussed now that the situation in Afghanistan has stabilized.
The comment echoed a call by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which last week said Washington should set a date for the withdrawal of its bases in Central Asia.
The SCO groups four Central Asian republics with Russia and China.
The United States currently operate the Ganci air base at Manas international airport near Bishkek and the Khanabad air base near the southern Uzbek city of Karshi to support operations in Afghanistan.
Is It Time To Withdraw U.S. Troops From Central Asia?For RFE/RL's full coverage of Kyrgyzstan's presidential election, see "Kyrgyzstan Votes 2005"