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U.S. Says No Plan For Base In Southern Kyrgyzstan

There are already U.S. soldiers at Manas air base, in northern Kyrgyzstan.
BISHKEK -- The U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan says the United States does not plan to have a military base in southern Kyrgyzstan, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The statement came in response to news that Washington is helping with the construction of a Kyrgyz antiterrorism center.

U.S. Embassy officials told RFE/RL that a new antiterrorism center, to be built next year in the Batken district, will belong to Kyrgyzstan, not the United States.

The statement also says that the United States allocated $5.5 million for the project at the Kyrgyz government's request.

The construction of the center is a part of a wider project that includes a newly built military hospital in the village of Besh-Kungey as well as a training center for the Kyrgyz military's rapid reaction unit "Chayan" (Scorpion), in the nearby town of Tokmok.

The U.S. provided several million dollars toward the construction of the new facilities.

The U.S. began using a military base at Manas airport outside of Bishkek in 2003 to deliver nonmilitary cargo to Afghanistan.