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No US Airbase in Kyrgyzstan - President Atambayev

RIA Novosti

16:01 24/12/2012

BISHKEK, December 24 (RIA Novosti) - Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev on Monday reiterated that Manas international airport, which currently hosts a US airbase, is to be a purely civilian facility after the US base closes.

"There will not be a military component at Manas airport: That is my firm position," he said.

Atambayev announced plans in November last year to close the base by 2014, when the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force is to be pulled out of Afghanistan.

The Manas base near Bishkek, set up by the United States in 2001, is the main transit hub for NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Atambayev said Kyrgyzstan will reinforce its border to prevent the penetration of militants from Afghanistan.

"I am counting on support from our [Russia-led] CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization] allies," the president said.

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