Kyrgyzstan Denies Pentagon's Proposals on US Airbase
TEHRAN (FNA)- Kyrgyz Prime Minister Igor Chudinov dismissed on Friday media reports that his country had received a set of new proposals from Washington concerning the closure of a US airbase on its territory.
"I neither met nor talked to representatives of the U.S. embassy. I have received no new proposals," RIA Novosti quoted Chudinov as saying.
President Kurmanbek Bakiyev announced plans to close down the US Manas base, used to support NATO operations in nearby Afghanistan since 2001, after talks on Tuesday in Moscow, where he secured substantial financial aid from Russia.
The Kyrgyz prime minister said on Thursday the decision to close the airbase was not connected to the aid. Russia is to write off Uzbekistan's $180 million debt and give the country a $2 billion discounted loan and $150 million in financial assistance.
The Kyrgyz government submitted on Wednesday a bill to gain the parliamentary approval needed to proceed with the closure of the base. The parliament, dominated by the pro-presidential Ak Zhol party, is expected to consider the bill next week.