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Kyrgyz Parliament Postpones Debate On U.S. Air Base

Foreign Minister Kadyrbek Sarbaev's absence led to the parliamantary debate being delayed.
BISHKEK -- The opposition Social Democratic Party says the parliamentary discussion on the cancellation of Kyrgyzstan's agreement with the United States on use of the air base at Manas Airport will not take place this week.

The debate on a draft law canceling the agreement on U.S. use of the Manas air base was postponed because Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Kadyrbek Sarbaev could not attend, the Kyrgyz parliament's press service reported.

Meanwhile, Communist Party leader Iskhak Masaliev told RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service that Kyrgyzstan needs to cancel bilateral agreements with some 11 countries because the Manas air base is shared with other members of the international antiterrorist coalition.

So far, only one parliament committee has voted to cancel the bilateral U.S.-Kyrgyz agreement on the air base, which is just outside of Bishkek and has been used by the U.S.-led coalition for operations in Afghanistan since 2001.