Manas Talks

by Nathan Hamm on 5/30/2006

US officials arrived in Bishkek yesterday to try to reach a new deal on use of the Manas airfield for US operations in Afghanistan. Kazakhstan Today reports that results of the discussions will be revealed tomorrow.

Results of the talks on conditions of the Ganci air base maintenance between the USA and Kyrgyzstan will be announced tomorrow, May 31, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan has informed Kazakhstan Today.

The Kyrgyz MFA explained that the sides will announce results of the talks at a press conference. More detailed information about the visit of the US delegation to Kyrgyzstan is so far not revealed by the organisers.

The AP interprets a comment from Feliks Kulov as a signal that the payments issue will soon be resolved.

Kyrgyzstan’s prime minister signaled Tuesday that his government may be close to resolving a payment dispute with the United States over the use of a military base in the ex-Soviet republic.

The base “should exist while the war on terror continues and until the situation in Afghanistan is put right,” Felix Kulov said, according to his office.

Sounds like Kulov does not agree with Bakiev’s repeated claims that Afghanistan is pretty stable and that he wants the base to stick around. (It’s times like this that demonstrate that if the US had really orchestrated the overthrow of Askar Akaev, Kulov would be running things now.)

Anyhow, it will be interesting to see how the issue is resolved. Were I to put money on it, I would bet that the base will remain but will not cost as much as Bakiev wants.

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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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