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Talks Continue On U.S. Use Of Kyrgyz Air Base

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Feliks Kulov takes to the cockpit (file photo) (Courtesy Photo) June 1, 2006 -- Negotiations on settling a dispute over the U.S. Ganci military air base in Kyrgyzstan resumed today in Bishkek.

President Kurmanbek Bakiev's office said in a statement Kyrgyzstan was interested in approaching the issue in a "constructive" way.

Bakiev has said he wants to increase 100-fold the rent Washington pays each year for the use of the base and threatened to expel U.S. forces if no agreement is reached.

The Pentagon is believed to pay some $2 million a year for the use of the base, which serves for operations in nearby Afghanistan.

Bakiev last month reportedly said Washington had to agree to the hike by June 1. But his office today said June 1 was the deadline for starting the talks.

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

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