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Central Asia: Franks Says No Permanent U.S. Bases In Region

Bishkek, 23 January 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. general commanding the Afghan military campaign said today that Washington does not plan to maintain a permanent military presence in Central Asia despite a substantial build-up of troops there now. General Tommy Franks said in Kyrgyzstan that the U.S. "does not intend to have permanent bases in the region."

But he added that even without a troop presence the United States would still be involved in the region as it continued its campaign to eliminate terrorism. He was speaking after meeting Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev in the capital Bishkek.