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Fate of U.S. air base to be decided by new Kyrgyz authorities - Otunbayeva

(Xinhua)

14:06, November 30, 2011

BISHKEK. Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Outgoing Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva said on Tuesday that the U.S. Transit Center's presence in Kyrgyzstan beyond 2014 must be decided depending on the situation in Afghanistan.

"President-elect Almazbek Atambayev and I share the view that it could be a civilian aviation post. It is badly needed on the crossover from Asia to Europe. But let us watch the dynamics of the situation in Afghanistan," Otunbayeva said at her final press conference.

"Let us judge according to the situation," she said. "The Transit Center has been operating smoothly. Before 2014, there were agreements with the U.S. government. This base exists not just for the sake of geopolitical ambitions. There are some trouble taking place in Afghanistan," Otunbayeva added.

The Transit Center located at the Manas Airport in Kyrgyzstan handles a large number of aircraft and transits large quantities of cargo.

"In 2014, the troops are going to pull out from Afghanistan... The decision regarding to the future fate of the Center will be made by our new government and new president," Otunbayeva said.

Kyrgyz president-elect Atambayev warned last month that the U.S. Transit Center should cease operations at Manas Airport after 2014.

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