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WikiLeaks: Tajikistan May Support U.S. Air Base

A leaked U.S. diplomatic cable says Tajikistan has indicated it would welcome a U.S. military air base on its territory as reinforcement against Afghan unrest and a means of funding its cash-strapped economy.

The cable, sent on February 16 this year and published by the WikiLeaks whistle-blower website, also said "cronyism and corruption" permeated all levels of government in Central Asia's poorest country and prevented development in the former Soviet republic.

Tajikistan is an important transit route supplying cargo to the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.

The cable said Tajikistan was pressing for greater benefits in return for this support.

Tajikistan's Foreign Ministry said it would not comment on any of the revelations.