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Kyrgyz Leader: No Military Equipment At Manas After 2014

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev (right) meets with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake in Bishkek on January 16.
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev says no military equipment should remain at Manas airport after most NATO-led troops withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

The Kyrgyz presidential press service said that Atambaev reiterated his stance on January 16 with visiting U.S. Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake.

NATO is currently using the transit center at the Manas airport near Bishkek to send noncombat supplies to its troops in Afghanistan.

Before his trip to Central Asia this week, Blake stated that the Manas transit center played an important role for the United States' operations in Afghanistan.

Kyrgyzstan also hosts a Russian military base near the northern city of Kant.