Thursday, February 05, 2009

Kyrgyzstan Moves to Close U.S. Base

Barry Artiste Op/Ed
I guess some countries are not waiting for US President Obama to move his US Troops out of Dodge, as the Kyrgyzstan Government has decided to force the US hand and do it for them in giving the US Government 180 days to pack up and get out of this backwater (desert) country.

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- The Kyrgyz government took the first steps Wednesday to close a U.S. military air base that is vital for supplying U.S.-led troops fighting in Afghanistan.

The Kyrgyz government sent parliament a decree on closing the Manas base on Wednesday.

Adakhan Madumarov, secretary of the Kyrgyz Security Council, said in Moscow that the U.S. military would be given 180 days to close its operations and leave once the two sides had exchanged formal diplomatic notes outlining the intention.

"The government has made its decision," he told reporters without saying when the exchange was likely to happen.

Parliament sources said it could start debating the decree as soon as Thursday. Parliamentary approval is seen as a formality since the chamber is dominated by the pro-presidential Ak Zhol party.

U.S. military personnel will be given 180 days to close operations and leave once the final decision is made.

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