Kyrgyz parliamentary opposition initiates question on early withdrawal of US base
Opposition faction of Ata Zhurt party of the Kyrgyz parliament intends to submit an issue of early withdrawal of the US airbase from the country's territory for the chamber's consideration, RIA Novosti reported on Friday.
U.S. Air Base, later renamed the Transit Center was established at the international airport "Manas" in Bishkek in December 2001 and provides about 30% of the total air refueling of aircrafts of the antiterrorist coalition participating in operation "Enduring Freedom" in Afghanistan. The agreement on placing U.S. air base in Kyrgyzstan is valid until 2014.
Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev during his meeting with U.S. Ambassador Pamela Spratlen this week reminded of the immutability of his decision on withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country after the expiration of the contract.
"Planes of the airbase cause enormous damage to our ecology," - the representative of the public movement "Asyr" standing for the withdrawal of the base said.
According to the "Asyr" representative in 2007 and 2008 the AFB air base planes threw into the air over the territory of the republic a total of over 700 tons of aviation fuel.
The question may be considered at a meeting of the Jogorku Kenesh (Kyrgyzstan's unicameral parliament) as early as this month.
Transit Center is a major transport and logistics hub for transfer of cargo and coalition forces to Afghanistan. According to official figures, around 1,500 of American military and civilian personnel are deployed at the transit center. Last week, before the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek a number of meetings with the requirements of the immediate withdrawal of the airbase from the country were held. Participants expressed the view that in case of military conflict between the U.S. and Iran air strikes on military targets in the United States, including the Air Base of Pentagon in Bishkek can be done.