France will not increase its military contingent based on the territory of Kyrgyzstan, said French defence minister Michele Alliot-Marie now visiting the republic.
Replying to the questions put by journalists, the head of the French military department stressed that "the increase of the numerical strength of the armed forces in this region is not stipulated." However, according to her, "France will take part in the actions of the anti-terror coalition until terrorists will threaten our life." For his part, defence minister of Kyrgyzstan Esen Topoyev assured his French colleagues that "Kyrgyzstan is ready to fulfil the obligations it assumed in supporting the activity of the coalition." "The anti-terror operations fully correspond to the security interests of Central Asian states, Kyrgyzstan in particular", he pointed out. Topoyev called the negotiations between the Kyrgyz military and the delegation of the defence department of France "a meeting of like-minded people who are fulfilling the common task." Defence minister of France Michele Alliot-Marie arrived in Bishkek to take part in the ceremony of handing over the humanitarian aid to the armed forces of this republic. In the course of the visit she met with president of Kyrgyzstan Askar Akayev and commander of the coalition forces deployed on the republic's territory general Lloyd.
At the present time, 380 French soldiers and officers are deployed on the Manas military-air base of the anti-terror coalition forces. They are servicing military fighters and planes-fuel bowsers of the French air forces which participate in the military operations in Afghanistan.