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Kyrgyz Lawmakers Call For Review Of U.S. Base Deal

A U.S. aircraft undergoing maintenance at the Manas base (file photo) (USDoD) December 15, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyzstan's parliamentarians today adopted a resolution that calls upon the government to review a 2001 agreement, which allowed the United States to set up a military air base in the country for operations in Afghanistan, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported.

The vote follows a December 6 incident in which a U.S. serviceman shot a Kyrgyz national at the gates of the base.

The U.S. military claims the soldier fired after the civilian, an ethnic Russian, threatened him with a knife.

In their resolution, the parliamentarians demand that the U.S. serviceman be handed to Kyrgyz investigators for questioning.

Addressing fellow lawmakers, Deputy Parliament Speaker Kubanychbek Isabekov suggested that the U.S. military facility be closed down.

"If need be, this base should be vacated," he said. "Why is that that every single soldier at this base enjoys immunity and diplomatic status?"

The Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry on December 7 asked that the immunity of the U.S. soldier be lifted.

Washington has not publicly reacted to the ministry's demand.

(with material from Kabar, AKIpress,

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