New U.S. Tajik Envoy Downplays Moscow Pact
October 23, 2012
by RFE/RL's Tajik Service
DUSHANBE -- The new U.S. ambassador to Tajikistan says the recent agreement between Dushanbe and Moscow to extend the presence of a Russian military base will not affect Washington's ties with Tajikistan.
On October 5, Russia and Tajikistan signed an agreement allowing Russian troops to stay at a military base in Tajikistan until 2042.
At her first press conference, U.S. Ambassador Susan Elliott said Tajikistan is not being considered as an alternative to the Manas Transit Center in neighboring Kyrgyzstan.
Manas is used by NATO to help deliver noncombatant cargo supplies for its troops in Afghanistan.
According to the ambassador, talks are under way on the possible prolongation of Manas Transit Center's operations after 2014.
Copyright (c) 2012. 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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