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Foreign Advisors May Help Kyrgyzstan Fight Terrorism, Drugs

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Feliks Kulov said he will not rule out inviting foreigners to help his country battle crime and drugs (file photo) (RFE/RL) 2 February 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Prime Minister Feliks Kulov said today foreign advisors could be asked to assist Kyrgyzstan in its fight against drug trafficking and terrorism.

"I do not rule out the possibility of cooperation in the fight against terrorism, possibly by using (foreign) advisors and other structures, but not bases, in the south of our country, although it won't entail deployment of foreign contingents."

During a visit to the Kant air base, near the capital Bishkek, Kulov also pledged continued support for Russia's use of the facility.

The base commander, Colonel Oleg Vinogradov, said 300 troops are currently deployed there, along with five Su-25 fighter bombers, two Mi-8 helicopters and four L-39 training jets.

Russian forces started using the Kant air base in 2003, in a move interpreted as a response to the U.S. military presence at a nearby facility.

The U.S . military have been using the Ganci air base at Bishkek's Manas airport since late 2001 to support operations in Afghanistan.

(RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service, Interfax, AP)

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