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Fate Of Manas Still To Be Determined, Former Official Says


U.S. servicemen at the Manas air base

U.S. servicemen at the Manas air base

BISHKEK -- A former Kyrgyz foreign minister says security negotiations between the United States and Russia will be the deciding factor in the fate of the Manas air base, a key post for the reinforcement and supply of the U.S. military in Afghanistan.

Alikbek Jekshenkulov, the leader of Kyrgyzstan's For Justice Movement, told RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service that despite today's parlimentary-approved order to close the base, the issue "will be decided not by the Kyrgyz government or the Kyrgyz parliament."

He suggested that the base could continue to operate until an agreement is reached between Moscow and Washington.

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev signed the order today and a notice to leave the base within six months was then sent to U.S. forces.
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