The Kyrgyz foreign ministry has notified the US ambassador in Kyrgyzstan it is going to shut down the US Manas air base in July 2014, media say.
For the last six months of the Afghanistan war, U.S. military personnel and cargo headed into and out of Afghanistan by air will transit through Romania rather than Kyrgyzstan, the Pentagon announced late Friday.
The United States would like to extend its agreement with Kyrgyzstan on the use of Manas airport for the delivery of goods to Afghanistan after 2014, CA-NEWS reports. However, Washington does not exclude the possibility that it will have to look for another hub in one of the neighbouring countries, assistant U.S. Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake said at a congressional hearing on Tuesday, ITAR-TASS reported.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs misunderstood or misinterpreted the statements made by U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul at the meeting with a group of the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, said Victoria Nuland, Spokesperson of U.S. Department of State, at the daily press briefing in Washington on May 29.
The North Atlantic Alliance had engaged regional governments on defense matters since the mid-1990s, when former Soviet Central Asian republics have joined NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) and its related Partnership for Peace (PfP) program.
It is well-known that the aggressive foreign policy of Iran’s clerical regime makes Central Asian governments uneasy. Most obviously, Iran and its Caspian neighbors have a longstanding dispute over Tehran’s expansive claims to offshore energy resources. In addition, the Central Asian states have repeatedly rejected Tehran’s application to elevate its observer status within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to that of a full member. Furthermore, they have limited educational and cultural exchanges with Iranians that could give Tehran opportunities to proselytize radical versions of Islam in Central Asia.
Kyrgyzstan’s new president-elect Almazbek Atambayev has once again hinted that he wants the US Transit Center at Manas out of Kyrgyzstan by the time coalition forces leave Afghanistan. “In 2014 the United States will have to withdraw its military base from the ‘Manas’ international airport,” Atambayev said on November 1.
Despite many unsolved problems which were planned to be solved by the introduction of the armed forces of the US and their allies from Afghanistan, a gradual withdrawal of the troops is expected to start in 2011. How will affect the withdrawal of the coalition troops the situation in the states, bordering Afghanistan? PhD in History, Deputy Director of the institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography of A. Dohish of the Academy of Science of the Republic of Tajikistan Viktor Dubovitsky shares his forecasts with the Politkom.ru readers.
In its decade-long slog to secure Afghanistan, the United States has juggled contradictory foreign policies in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, the fragile Central Asian states with key supporting roles in the war. There’s the policy of engaging the two post-Soviet states for their own sake, promoting good governance, human rights, and business ties – the usual grab-bag of US diplomacy. Then there’s the policy of using them as logistical hubs in the Afghanistan war.
If the prognostications of many foreign policy pundits are to be believed, the NATO summit in Lisbon, set to open a week from today, could be a watershed moment for the Atlantic alliance, something which will set the West on a path of monumental geopolitical realignment.