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Kyrgyz parliament approves denunciation of agreement with US on Manas air base

June 17, 2013, 10:33 UTC+3
The bill on the denunciation of the agreement was passed into law on considerations that there is no apparent need in the further functioning of this facility
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BISHKEK, June 17 (Itar-Tass) - The international committee of Kyrgyzstan’s parliament on Monday approved the denunciation of the agreement with the United States on the deployment of an American military base in Bishkek’s airport Manas.

“The committee considered this bill behind closed doors,” a spokesman for the Kyrgyz Supreme Council’s administrative department told Itar-Tass. The bill on the denunciation of the agreement was passed into law on considerations that “there is no apparent need in the further functioning of this facility,” since in 2014 the United States and their allies plan to withdraw a larger part of their force from Afghanistan.

Earlier, the bill was approved by all parliamentary factions and relevant parliament committees. Now, the issue will be submitted for consideration of the parliament in the next few days. The bill envisages the withdrawal of the military from the airport Manas before next summer.

The airbase of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was opened in Bishkek in December 2001. It was meant to provide logistics backing for the Enduring Freedom operation in Afghanistan. Initially, the base harbored servicemen and military hardware of several member state of the coalition force, but in recent years it has been used primarily by the United States Air Force. In 2009, the Kyrgyz authorities announced plans to shut the base but following long consultations with Washington, it was only renamed Transit Center. Kyrgyzstan’s President Almazbek Atambayev has repeatedly announced plans to close the base on grounds that “no military should be present at a civil airport.” He suggests that a big transport and logistics hub be established in Manas instead of the air base.

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