Turkey eyes fuel deal for U.S. air base in Kyrgyzstan

21:02, January 31, 2011      

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Turkey is holding talks with Kyrgyzstan to sell fuel to an American military base there, Kyrgyz national news agency Kabar reported Monday.

The Turkish Petroleum International Company Ltd. (TPIC) is negotiating with the Kyrgyz government on jet fuel supply for the U.S. air base, now known as the Transit Center at Manas, the company's President Mithat Cansiz told local media.

The TPIC, an affiliate to the state-run Turkish Petroleum Corporation,will sell 5,000-6,000 tons of jet fuel to Manas per month if they can reach an agreement. According to current market prices, such a deal would bring in an annual revenue of some 400 million U.S. dollars for the company, said Cansiz.

The TPIC, founded in 1998, is mainly active in the Mediterranean region and the Middle East in the field of petroleum products as well as oil exploration and distribution. Last year, it won a 308-million-dollar tender to open 45 oil wells in Iraq.

The air base was opened in December 2001 to support U.S. military operations in its war in Afghanistan. In February 2009, the Kyrgyz Parliament voted to close the base on its territory after the two governments failed to agree on a higher rent.

U.S. and Kyrgyz officials continued negotiations later, and Kyrgyzstan agreed to allow U.S. forces to stay at Manas after Washington raised the annual rent.

Source: Xinhua
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