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US shuts Afghan transit base in Kyrgyzstan

Manas Transit Centre commander, US Air Force Colonal John Millard (L), hands over a symbolic key of the base to Kyrgyz National Guard Chief of Staff, Mirbek Emayev, during a symbolic ceremony on June 3, 2014Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) (AFP) – The United States on Tuesday shut its airforce base in Kyrgyzstan that had been the main transit hub for troops going to Afghanistan, a move expected to boost Russia’s influence in Central Asia. Washington was forced to shut the Manas Transit Centre north of Bishkek after Kyrgyzstan, an ex-Soviet country seeking closer ties with Moscow, refused to extend its lease last year. US ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Pamela Spratlen said all military personnel would leave the base in a week.

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