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Tajik President Says No U.S. Military Bases In His Country

President Rakhmonov (file photo) 23 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Tajik President Imomali Rakhmonov said today during a visit to the eastern part of his country that there would never be a U.S. military base in Tajikistan.

The U.S.-led coalition must vacate by the end of this year a base they were using in neighboring Uzbekistan for operations in Afghanistan.

A senior member of Rakhmonov's ruling party hinted last week that it was possible some of the troops and equipment from the Uzbek base could be relocated in Tajikistan.

But today Rakhmonov was quoted by Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency as saying "in Tajikistan there never was nor will there be a U.S. military base."

The U.S.-led coalition has used air bases in Tajikistan but the number of personnel is small and mostly French troops.


For RFE/RL's full coverage of events in Central Asia, see "Central Asia In Focus"