Uzbekistan teaches children about healthy lifestyle
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa helps flood victims
Kyrgyzstan to build Bishkek-Osh highway
Karachi authorities restore order to Lyari
Kyrgyzstan and U.S. agree on Manas transit shipment centre
On June 22, Kyrgyzstan and the U.S. agreed to open a transit shipment centre at Manas International Airport to take the place of a military base there. The transit shipment centre will handle non-military freight for the coalition forces in Afghanistan.
KYRGYZSTAN – On June 22, Kyrgyzstan and the U.S. agreed to open a “transit shipment centre” at Manas International Airport to take the place of the military base that Kyrgyz authorities earlier decided had to be closed Aug. 18.
The Kyrgyz parliament ratified the agreement in an extraordinary session on June 23, which will allow the continuation of supplies to U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan who are fighting Taliban militants and Al-Qaeda terrorists.
The transit shipment centre will handle non-military freight for the coalition forces in Afghanistan. It will inherit all infrastructure currently at the airport's military base.
A source in parliament said legislation specifies “that Kyrgyz Interior Ministry and U.S. Defence Department troops will guard the centre's perimeter. Personnel serving there will have the right to bear arms only on the territory of the centre. Kyrgyz laws will govern all their movements on Kyrgyz territory.”
The Manas Air Base was established in December 2001 by UN mandate so the U.S. and its allies could carry out anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan. Last February the Kyrgyz parliament voted to close the base at President Kurmanbek Bakiev's suggestion.
Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Kadyrbek Sarbaev said the country reconsidered its decision because of the worsening situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan and appeals from foreign heads of state.” In June, Afghan President Hamid Karzai asked Bakiev not to close the base.
Sources in Kyrgyz parliament say that the payment for the shipment centre will be US$60 million. The base costs $17 million annually. The U.S. will also spend $36.6 million to construct cargo hangars and warehouses, $30 million to improve navigation equipment, $21.5 million to counter drug trafficking in the country and $12 million to counter terrorist activities. The U.S. will also contribute $20 million to the creation of a joint economic development fund. In all, Kyrgyzstan will receive roughly $180 million for rights for U.S. and NATO forces to maintain a much needed cargo transit facility in the country.
[24.kg, Reuters.com, CA-News.org, KT.kz]