Kyrgyz president: Manas base future shoul be decided within Kyrgyzstan’s interests
Azerbaijan, Baku, May 3 / Trend /
The future of the Transit Center at Manas should be decided within the interests of Kyrgyzstan, the country's president Almazbek Atambaev said in interview with the Public Service Broadcasting Company OTRK, CA-NEWS reported.
According to Atambaev, the less military bases are stationed in Kyrgyzstan, the better it would be.
He stressed that Kyrgyzstan should learn to defend itself.
"The U.S. believed that if they increase the rent fee, Kyrgyzstan would calm down, but this is a complex issue. It should be considered from all sides," Atambaev said.
He said first Kyrgyzstan's interests, and then the situation in Afghanistan and the views of the country's strategic partners should be taken into account.
"Given all these and interests of Kyrgyzstan, a decision should be reached about the future of the base," Atambaev said.
He added he told the U.S. officials that the civilian airport should not have the military base. Meantime, Kyrgyzstan is ready to help with transport and logistics, he added.
The Transit Centre at Manas 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.
Edited by: A.Badalova