Source Pravda.Ru

Kirghizia authorized stationing of military contingent from New Zealand on its territory`

The government of Kirghizia approved the agreement to station a military contingent of armed forces of New Zealand on the territory of the military air force base of the anti-terrorist coalition in the Manas airport in the Kirghiz capital.

The agreement is valid for 6 months.

On Saturday the Kirghiz foreign ministry reported that the agreement permitted the civil and military personnel of New Zealand to use Kirghiz facilities including the international Manas airport for humanitarian aid purposes, military operations and their support within the framework of the "Staunch Freedom" operation.

According to the concluded agreement New Zealand soldiers and officers on the territory of Kirghizia will be granted the status "equivalent to that of the administrative and technical personnel of the New Zealand embassy" and will be permitted to carry weapons "in cases stipulated by appropriate instructions." Aircraft, transport vehicles and servicemen on secondment to the air force base will not be subject to inspections. They will not have to pay customs duties, taxes and any other payments imposed on the territory of Kirghizia.

New Zealand, in its turn, is prepared to pay "reasonable" aircraft parking and landing fees in the airport.

The New Zealand military contingent is expected to arrive in Manas in the nearest future to replace Norwegian servicemen who already left for home.

Presently 15 F-16 fighter aircraft of Dutch and Danish air forces are located at the Manas base together with military transport aircraft and refueling aircraft. About 1,500 servicemen from 8 countries of the world are stationed at the base. The first servicemen of the anti-terrorist coalition states arrived in Kirghizia in December 2001.