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Kyrgyz President Says U.S. Base Will Stay As Long As Necessary

5 September 2005 -- Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev today reaffirmed that his nation will allow the U.S. military base to remain on its territory for as long as necessary to bring stability to Afghanistan, but said the rent will increase.

Bakiev, visiting Russia for talks with President Vladimir Putin, has been trying to balance U.S. and Russian interests in his country, which also allows a Russian military base on its territory.

Asked by journalists how long Kyrgyzstan will play host to the U.S. forces, Bakiev said today that it will depend on stabilization efforts in Afghanistan.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is dominated by Russia and China and includes Kyrgyzstan and other Central Asian nations, has strongly pushed for an end to the U.S. deployment in the region.