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Kyrgyzstan To Sign New Agreements With NATO Transit Center

September 16, 2009

BISHKEK -- A Kyrgyz parliament delegation led by the deputy speaker, Kubanychbek Isabekov, has visited the NATO Transit Center at Manas Airport near Bishkek, and discussed new transit agreements to be signed soon, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The delegation met with the new head of the center, Blaine Holt, and discussed further cooperation between the facility and the Kyrgyz government.

The center, formerly known as Manas Air Base, serves as a transit point for NATO's non-weapon supplies to its troops in Afghanistan.

Isabekov told RFE/RL that he is satisfied with the current activities of the transit center, adding that its operations are crucial for international efforts to stabilize the volatile situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Manas Airport director Bakyt Sydykov told RFE/RL that new agreements on the lease of the airport by the Transit Center will be signed in 10-15 days.

Washington had been in talks to keep the base open since February, when Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev announced its closure in Moscow after securing pledges of $2 billion in aid and credit from Russia.


Copyright (c) 2009. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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