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Kyrgyzstan Reiterates Stance On U.S. Use Of Ganci Air Base

The air base at Manas Airport (file photo) (RFE/RL) Bishkek, 2 November 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev has reiterated that his government will ask the United States to pay more for the use of a military air base in the republic.

At a joint press conference with Prime Minister Feliks Kulov today, Bakiev said a U.S. commission will arrive in
Bishkek on 4 November to negotiate a new agreement on the use of the Ganci Air Base at Manas Airport.

The U.S. military has been using the base near Bishkek since the end of 2001 for conducting security and humanitarian
operations in Afghanistan.

Yesterday, Bakiev met in Bishkek with the top U.S. military commander in the Persian Gulf region, General John
Abizaid. The Kyrgyz president's office said in a statement that they discussed military cooperation between the two nations.
(RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service, AP, ITAR-TASS, Interfax)