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U.S. Has No Comment On Future Of Kyrgyzstan Base

U.S. troops in Kyrgyzstan (file photo) 12 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The United States has offered no immediate reaction to the comment by Kyrgyzstan's newly elected president urging a review of the presence of U.S. forces at an air base in Kyrgyzstan.

State Department spokesman Tom Casey said the United States is "very appreciative" of the cooperation Kyrgyzstan has provided for coalition operations in Afghanistan, but declined comment on the 11 July statement by new Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev.

Bakiev, speaking after results showed him winning a decisive victory in Kyrgyzstan's presidential elections on 11 July, said the situation in neighboring Afghanistan has stabilized and that discussions could now begin on the necessity of U.S.-led forces at the Manas air base, where they have been deployed since late 2001.

Bakiev's comment echoed a call by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which last week said Washington should set a date for the withdrawal of its military bases in Central Asia.


See also:

Kyrgyz President Questions Presence Of U.S. Base

Is It Time To Withdraw U.S. Forces From Central Asia?

For RFE/RL's full coverage of Kyrgyzstan's presidential election, see "Kyrgyzstan Votes 2005"