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U.S. Base In Kyrgyzstan Officially Closes

The United States has officially closed the Manas air base it has used in Kyrgyzstan, more than one month before the lease on the base was due to expire.

At a ceremony on June 3 to hand over a symbolic "key" to the base to Kyrgyz officials, base commander Colonel John Millard said some 5.5 million troops had passed through Manas in its more than 12 years in service.

U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Pamela Spratlen said on June 3 that the last service personnel at the Manas transit center would depart this week.

U.S. troops have been using the Manas base since December 2001 to support operations in nearby Afghanistan.

The presence of U.S. troops at Manas has irritated China, which borders Kyrgyzstan, and Russia, which views Central Asia as its sphere of influence.
Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS, Interfax, and Reuters

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