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Kyrgyz Opposition Figure: U.S.'s Afghan Success Vital For Central Asia

Ravshan Jeenbekov

Ravshan Jeenbekov

WASHINGTON -- A former Kyrgyz government official says U.S. President Barack Obama's Afghan strategy is very important for the stability of Central Asia, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Former State Property Minister Ravshan Jeenbekov told RFE/RL that increased military operations in Afghanistan might cause Taliban fighters to flee to neighboring countries, including Central Asian states.

Jeenbekov, who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States, said the weakest countries in the region -- including Kyrgyzstan -- would be the most vulnerable if that occurred.

He said Central Asian leaders should fully support Obama's strategy on Afghanistan and contribute to its implementation.

Kyrgyzstan hosts a NATO Transit Center at Bishkek's Manas Airport, allowing nonweapon supplies to be sent to NATO troops in Afghanistan.

Obama announced on December 1 that 30,000 additional U.S. troops will be deployed to Afghanistan to bring the number of coalition troops there
to more than 140,000.