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U.S. to leave Kyrgyzstan by 2014

  |   Feb. 20, 2012 at 2:45 PM
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- American troops should expect to leave Kyrgyzstan after their mandate ends in 2014, Kyrgyz President Atambayev said.

Commenting on a meeting Monday with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Susan Elliot, the president said no military contingent should be deployed at the Manas airport after the agreed-upon deadline of the summer of 2014, the Russian news agency ITAR-Tass reported, a reference to a U.S. air base opened at the airport in 2001.

The air base in the Kyrgyz capitol has hosted anti-terrorist forces of several countries, and has recently been a base for U.S. servicemen and hardware.

Elliot expressed gratitude to the Kyrgyz leadership for its help in contributing to the region's security at Monday's meeting, the news service reported.

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