Foreign “bases” likely to stay in Central Asia
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 11 / Trend V. Zhavoronkova/
Foreign bases in the Central Asian countries are likely to stay in spite of the statements of the countries' leaders, the U.S. expert on Central Asia Bruce Pannier believes.
"U.S. or foreign "bases" in Central Asia, there probably will continue to be some airfields used for resupplying foreign forces that remain in Afghanistan after 2014," Pannier, an expert of Radio Liberty, told Trend on Friday.
Kyrgyzstan one more time confirmed its commitment not to prolong its lease agreement with the U.S. on the Manas transit centre, former military base. At the same time the country came to an agreement with Russia on the military issue.
There are reports in media that the U.S. will not completely leave the region even after Manas agreement expires.
Pannier believes the facilities are likely to stay and the key will be the words they use for these units.
"No one will call them "bases"," he said.
Pannier added that the same thing happened at Manas when it changed from being a base to a "transit center".
But the function will probably be close to the same as it is today but the term used to describe the facility will avoid anything that sounds military, expert added.
The Transit Centre at Manas, formerly called military base was opened in late 2001 after the U.S launched its operation in Afghanistan. At present, it accommodates about 1,200 U.S soldiers. According to Pentagon statistics, the base handles up to 15,000 coalition servicemen and 500 tons of cargoes a month.