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Kyrgyzstan's parliament has approved the termination of agreements with 11 countries
Kyrgyzstan's parliament has approved the termination of agreements with 11 countries on the deployment of their military contingents at the Manas airbase in the north of the country.

The bill, which terminates agreements with Australia, Denmark, Italy, Spain, South Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Poland, Turkey and France, was supported by an overwhelming majority of MPs.

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev signed on February 20 a decree to close the Manas airbase, located close to the former Soviet republic's capital of Bishkek. The base, staffed mainly by U.S. Air Force personnel, had been used since 2001 to support NATO operations in nearby Afghanistan.

Bakiyev linked the decision to Washington's refusal to pay more for the base and to the conduct of U.S. military personnel, including the killing of a Kyrgyz national by a U.S. soldier in December 2006.

Kyrgyz officials have rejected any connection between the decision and a recent Russian financial aid package under which Russia will write off Kyrgyzstan's $180 million debt and grant the country a $2 billion soft loan and $150 million in financial assistance. Moscow has likewise denied any link.

Kyrgyzstan has formally informed Washington of the termination of the agreement on a U.S. military presence at the Manas airbase and has given it 180 days to withdraw some 1,200 personnel, aircraft and other equipment.

The Kyrgyz parliament said the termination of the founding agreement with the U.S. made agreements with other countries 'senseless."


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