Archive for Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Deal reached on U.S. air base use

June 24, 2009

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— The former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan tentatively approved a deal on Tuesday that should allow the U.S. to continue shipping military hardware and troops crucial to operations in Afghanistan through an air base in the Central Asian state.

U.S. forces had in February been ordered out of the Manas air base by a presidential decree that stunned Washington and drew suspicion that Kyrgyzstan was acting under the influence of Russia, which staunchly opposes Western military presence near its borders. Russia also has a base in Kyrgyzstan.

But the deal approved Tuesday by a Kyrgyz parliamentary committee apparently would allow the American base to remain open.

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