Source Pravda.Ru

U.S. airbase in Kyrgyzstan promotes regional stability

The U.S. airbase in Kyrgyzstan is playing "a big role in Central Asian stability," Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev told U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage during the Saturday talks in Bishkek.

According to Mr. Akayev, Operation Enduring Freedom carried out by the anti-terrorist coalition in Afghanistan saved Central Asia from the international terrorist invasion.

"Stability in Central Asia depends on that in Afghanistan," Askar Akayev stressed.

In his opinion, the airbase in Manas is "a symbol of Kyrgyz-U.S. military-technical cooperation".

On his part, Richard Armitage said that the U.S. did not hope for permanent presence of its airbase in Kyrgyzstan. "Above all. We want to maintain and consolidate military-technical cooperation with the republic," he noted.

The airbase was founded in the Manas international airport in the Kyrgyz capital under a UN mandate as a base of the anti-terrorist coalition forces to maintain the operation in Afghanistan, which resulted in the overthrow of the Taliban regime.

The Russian airbase in Kant (30 km away from Bishkek) was founded on the initiative of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan) for the same purpose.

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