Kyrgyz To Cancel Manas Transit Center Deal With U.S.

Manas International Airport

The Kyrgyz government has decided to cancel the U.S.-Kyrgyz agreement on NATO's use of the transit center at Manas International Airport near Bishkek as of July 11, 2014.

The announcement was placed on the cabinet's website on May 21.It said a draft of the decision will be given soon to the parliament for approval.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson would not speculate on "hypothetical next steps." In response to a request from RFE/RL, the spokesperson said the Transit Center "continues to operate under existing agreements" to support the international military coalition in Afghanistan.

The center is a transit base for troops and supplies and hosts about 1,000 U.S. military personnel and several U.S. Air Force tanker planes.

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev has stated a number of times that Manas "will not house a single military facility" after NATO troops are finished withdrawing from Afghanistan in 2014.*

The Parliamentarians Network for Conflict Prevention has asked its member Dastan Bekeshev, member of the Supreme Council of Kyrgyzstan, to share his point of view: "On 21 May, 2013 the Kyrgyz Government proposed to the Parliament a bill on the denunciation of the Transit Centre Agreement. President Almazbek Atambayev raised this issue as well. I believe that we should stand by certain principles in our foreign policy: if we make a decision we have to stick to it. Our previous President terminated the Transit Centre Agreement and then ratified it again. Such games do not lead to anything good." 


* Originally published on Radio Free Europe.

Photo by twiga269 ॐ FEMEN.

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