Accessibility links

Breaking News

Kyrgyz Presidential Election Winner Against U.S. Military Presence

A woman performs a traditional ritual during a ceremony to open a new large aircraft ramp at the Manas Army airbase near Bishkek.
BISHKEK -- Former Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambaev, who has declared victory in the October 30 presidential election, says he opposes the use by the United States of the military transit center at Manas airport near Bishkek, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Talking to RFE/RL on October 31, Atambaev said he would prefer if Manas were "not a military, but a civilian airport."

Atambaev recalled the U.S. military operations in Iraq and said there is no guarantee that similar operations will not be conducted in other countries, such as Iran.

"If some day the opposite side responds to a U.S. attack with a missile attack, not just the military transit center, but Bishkek itself might be razed to the ground," Atambaev said.

The military transit center at Manas airport has been used by U.S. troops for conducting operations in Afghanistan under an agreement that expires next year.

Read more in Kyrgyz here