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Kyrgyz Base Will Not be Used Against Iran - U.S. Ambassador

RIA Novosti

12:44 23/02/2012 MOSCOW, February 23 (RIA Novosti) - The U.S. ambassador in Russia Michael McFaul denied on Thursday that the U.S. base in Kyrgyzstan would be used in case of a military conflict with Iran.

“Manas Transit Center contributes to help stabilize and secure Afghanistan and will only be used for that purpose,” McFaul wrote in his Twitter microblog.

The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed concern on Wednesday that the United States may use its base in Manas as part of a military conflict against Iran because of its proximity to the Islamic Republic (the distance between Kyrgyz capital Bishkek and Tehran is about 1,331 miles)

The U.S. began operations at the Manas base near the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek in 2001 in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks to support military operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan. It remains a key supply facility for the ongoing military campaign there.

The base lease agreement expires in the summer of 2014 and Kyrgyzstan has no plans to prolong the contract.

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