U.S. in talks with Kyrgyzstan on air base
The Obama administration is still talking with Bishkek over the fate of a U.S. air base in Kyrgyzstan, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday, Xinhua reported.
"We are still talking to the Kyrgyzstan officials about our position on the Manas air base. But we have not received an official rejection of our position," said deputy spokesman Gordon Duguid.
The Kyrgyzstan government and parliament have been considering the closure of the air base, which is a key logistic center for the U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan.
About 15,000 people and 500 tonnes of cargo move in and out of the Manas air base every month supporting the military operations in Afghanistan, where some 33,000 U.S. soldiers have been engaged in missions taken separately by the U.S.-led coalition troops and the NATO-led ISAF troops.
The Obama administration, who wants to invest more battle troops mainly from Iraq to Afghanistan in a bid to completely defeat Taliban and al-Qaeda, has to persuade Bishkek to reconsider the closure, or at least to postpone the closure.
Meanwhile, the administration considers resuming military cooperation with Uzbekistan as a part of backup planning for the potential closure of the Manas air base, in order to ensure the logistic supply for the operations in Afghanistan.
General David Petraeus, commander of the U.S. Central Command, on Tuesday visited Uzbekistan, according to Duguid, but his visit "is not about supply routes or, ... the Manas air base in Kyrgyzstan."