Wire: Rent Triples for US to Stay at Manas Base
Off the Wire:
WASHINGTON, June 23, 2009 -- Newswire services this morning reported that the United States has agreed to more than triple the rent it pays for use of a key air base in Kyrgyzstan to ship military supplies to Afghanistan under a deal approved Tuesday by a Kyrgyz parliamentary committee.
The accord to use the Manas base as a "center of transit shipments" comes four months after the Central Asian nation ordered the eviction of U.S. troops. It falls short of U.S. hopes of maintaining the base as a full-fledged military facility, according to an Associated Press report.
Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Kadyrbek Sarbayev told lawmakers that under the new one-year deal, rent will increase to $60 million per year from the current $17.4 million.
Washington will also pay $37 million to build new aircraft parking slots and storage areas, plus another $30 million for new navigation systems.
Officials at the U.S. Embassy in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, said they couldn't immediately comment on the deal, AP said.
(Report from newswire sources.)
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