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U.S. 'Committed' To Quick Solution Over Kyrgyz Air Base

The Manas air base (file photo) (RFE/RL) PRAGUE, April 20, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. Embassy in Bishkek says Washington is committed to reaching agreement on the terms of use for Kyrgyzstan's Ganci air base at Manas Airport, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported.

Embassy information assistant Azamat Ababakirov, giving the official position, said it is to the benefit of both countries to continue cooperating on security issues.

"We are committed to a quick conclusion of our talks with the Kyrgyz authorities on the continued use of the Manas coalition air base in Kyrgyzstan," Ababakirov said. "The Kyrgyz Republic has hosted the air base for over four years and made an important contribution to both the war on terror in Afghanistan and security in the region. It's in both the United States' and the Kyrgyz Republic's interests to continue our cooperation on keeping terrorists out of the region."

The statement comes a day after Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev threatened to expel U.S. troops from the country unless Washington renegotiates its payments for using the facilities, which are informally referred to as Ganci.

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

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