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Kyrgyz Foreign Minister: CIS Troops Won't Use Vacated Air Base

Foreign Minister Kadyrbek Sarbaev (file photo)
Foreign Minister Kadyrbek Sarbaev (file photo)
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Kadyrbek Sarbaev says that Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) troops will not use the air base at Manas Airport after U.S. troops leave, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Sarbaev told the parliament's Social Democratic faction that the CIS Joint Security force will not use the vacated spot.

He added that there is no connection between Bishkek's decision to close the U.S. air base and Moscow's pledge to loan $2 billion to Kyrgyzstan.

The pro-presidential Ak-Jol party has fully approved President Kurmanbek Bakiev's recommendation to close the air base. Parliamentary debate on the closure of the U.S. air base are scheduled for February 19.