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Kyrgyz PM vows to close U.S. base in 2014

(Xinhua)

09:50, August 31, 2011

MOSCOW, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- The U.S.-rented Manas air base in Kyrgyzstan would be closed in three years, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev told Russian reporters on Tuesday.

"After 2014, the term of the agreement (about leasing of the Manas air base near Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan) will expire and there must be a civilian hub. There should not be any military base," Atambayev said in an interview to the Russia Today TV channel.

Kyrgyz authorities have spoken about the issue to representatives from the U.S. government, Atambayev said. "I think it will be right to have a civilian transit center at the civilian Manas airport," he stressed.

The United States has been using the Manas air base to ferry troops and supplies for its operations in Afghanistan since 2001.

In February, Kyrgyzstan and the United States signed a 630- million-U.S.-dollar contract on fuel supply to the Manas air base.

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