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Kyrgyz Leader Threatens to Close Down US Military Base


Kyrgyzstan's president is threatening to shut down a U.S. military base in his country, if the U.S. government does not agree to new financial terms.

President Kurmanbek Bakiyev said Wednesday that Kyrgyzstan reserves the right to consider ending the agreement if negotiations are not completed by June 1.

Mr. Bakiyev wants the United States to pay more rent for use of the Manas air base, which was set up in Kyrgyzstan in late 2001. The United States is using the base to support military operations in Afghanistan.

If Kyrgyzstan chooses to expel the U.S. forces, it would be the second U.S. military base in recent years to be closed down in Central Asia.

Uzbek authorities made American troops leave last year after Washington criticized its bloody crackdown on demonstrations in the eastern town of Andijan.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.
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