6 Feb 2009

Closure of US base considered in Kyrgyzstan

7:41 am on 6 February 2009

The European Union has called on the parliament in Kyrgyzstan to think carefully before voting to close the only American air base in Central Asia.

The Manas air-base is an important transit point for US and NATO military operations in Afghanistan.

The EU says its closure could hamper international efforts to stabilise Afghanistan.

Kyrgyz officials say parliament will vote on the closure next week.

The proposal, which is expected to be passed, came after Russia, which also has a military base in the country, offered Kyrgyzstan a $US2 billion aid package.