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A U.S. base in Kyrgyzstan that supplies American forces in Afghanistan is conducting limited operations following an uprising that forced the Kyrgyz president to flee the capital, the Pentagon said on Thursday.
The U.S. stance could put Washington at loggerheads with Russia, which was quick to recognize the caretaker government led by Roza Otunbayeva, and which has vied for influence in Central Asia since the break up of the Soviet Union.
BISHKEK, April 8 (Reuters) - Kyrgyzstan's self-proclaimed new leaders thanked Russia on Thursday for helping to oust President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, and said they aimed to close a U.S. airbase that supplies forces in Afghanistan.
Their comments set Wednesday's overthrow of Bakiyev, who fled the capital Bishkek as crowds stormed government buildings, firmly in the context of superpower rivalry in central Asia.
No sooner had presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev signed an arms reduction pact in Prague as part of an effort to "reset" strained relations than a senior official in Medvedev's delegation urged Kyrgyzstan's new rulers to shut the U.S. base.
Georgian opposition leaders warned the authorities on Thursday that the country could see a Kyrgyz scenario if opposition activists continue to be arrested. Earlier in the day, police detained eight protesters for blocking a road in the capital, Tbilisi.
Originally posted by MikeboydUS
reply to post by JanusFIN
I wouldn't be surprised if the US and Russia worked together to put the SDPK into power.
Could even throw the Chinese in there too.
The other government had to go. It was in the best interests of all of three powers.
WASHINGTON, April 8 (Reuters) - The future of a U.S. base in Kyrgyzstan could have important implications for the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan and U.S. relations with Russia.
Here are some questions and answers about issues surrounding the Manas base, whose future is uncertain following the overthrow of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE BASE?
Pentagon officials say Manas has been central to the war effort, allowing around-the-clock combat airlift and airdrop, medical evacuation and aerial refueling.
It has been particularly important for getting U.S. forces into Afghanistan. Just last month, about 50,000 troops passed through the base on their way into and out of the country...
State Department officials said Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Kadyrbek Sarbayev met a top U.S. diplomat in Washington, while the U.S. charge d'affaires in the Kyrgyz capital met opposition leader Roza Otunbayeva.
"Our message to both is the same," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told a news briefing. "We will continue to urge them to resolve this in a peaceful way."
Chinese firm Daqing and a joint venture between Schlumberger Ltd (SLB.N) and the state-owned Iraq Drilling Company are each being awarded contracts to drill 21 new wells, while Weatherford International Ltd (WFT.N) was awarded seven new wells, Ameedi said.